Stranger Things season 4 is official, and it’s finally in production. Netflix officially renewed the sci-fi hit for a fourth season back in 2019 – although there’s no Stranger Things season 4 release date as yet. There is a first teaser trailer for season 4, though, which shows the dramatic return of Hopper, this time in a Russian prison. We’ve also seen the start of production marked with a video of the first table read, which you can learn more about below.
Will Stranger Things season 4 be the final year of the show? In an interview with Vulture, Ross Duffer hinted the series would be “a four-season thing and then out.” Series producer Shawn Levy clarified that “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely” (via Entertainment Weekly).
Netflix’s Momita SenGupta has described season 4 as “bigger, bolder and more intricate than ever”. The show is filming in New Mexico this year, where previous seasons were shot in Atlanta.
Originally intended to be anthology series, like American Horror Story, the popularity of Stranger Things’ cute child cast ensured that Netflix fans would get plenty more of the charming little scamps. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things Season 4 so far, including its likely release date, cast and more.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The fourth season of Stranger Things
- Where can I watch it? Netflix
- When will it be released? Late 2020 / early 2021 seems likely
To go along with the confirmation that Stranger Things season 4 is on the way, Netflix released a creepy teaser video that proclaims “we’re not in Hawkins anymore” – possibly referring either to the Upside Down realm or adventures further afield in the real world (Russia maybe?). As the teaser progresses, a sign saying “Welcome to Hawkins” is swamped by creatures from the Upside Down.
You can check out the teaser video below.
Stranger Things season 4 trailer: Hopper is alive!
A welcome gift on Valentine’s Day? Stranger Things have happened. pic.twitter.com/6bUFvnyrjYFebruary 14, 2020
Ever since the end of season 3 – which saw Hopper meet an untimely demise next to an exploded generator, excitable fans have been hoovering up the Duffer brothers’ hints. But, as Russian soldiers said “the American” should not be the victim fed to a captive Demogorgon, it could only be one man. Hopper is alive.
In a statement, The Duffer brothers said they were: “excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!” they said. “Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything…
“Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime – pray for the American.”
Stranger Things season 4 release date: when we expect it
The Duffer Brothers’ show tends to angle its release date around public holidays such as Halloween for Season 2, or the 4th of July for Season 3 – depending on the time of year within Stranger Things itself.
We wouldn’t rule out a Christmas edition, though we think a Spring season seems more likely – that is, if current plot threads end up leading the show’s story to the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred April 26, 1986, which isn’t long after the 1985 setting of Season 3. (Yes, this theory is from Reddit, but it’s pretty legit, okay?)
There tends to be 1-2 years lead time between each season, so an early 2021 date seems likely. Production has begun, as of March 2020.
We also know that filming for Season 4 started filming in February 2020. When asked in an Instagram Q&A when shooting was to commence, Millie Bobby Brown (aka Eleven) confirmed that it was to be “early this year.”
However, filming will start in a new place before returning to the show’s normal home of Atlanta. According to Murphy’s Multiverse, first the team are setting off to Lithuania and shooting in and around where HBO shot their gripping smash hit, Chernobyl. That makes sense based on where we know Hopper is this season.
Stranger Things Season 4 cast: who’s returning?
Despite the fact that Stranger Things has now been officially renewed, there are no official casting announcements. However, you can be sure you’ll get a lot of the same faces as Season 3 – including Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Sadie Sink (Max), and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington). And, of course, Hopper (David Harbour).
Maya Hawke (Robin), a newcomer for Season 3, also quickly became a fan favorite, and will almost certainly be a big presence in the season to come – while Caleb’s younger sister Erica (played by Priah Ferguson) will likely continue to enjoy a larger role in the show.
Who won’t we be seeing? Spoilers ahead (obviously), but we don’t expect to see Dacre Montgomery (Billy) or Alec Utgoff (Alexei) again, though the showrunners could always surprise us. Heck, why don’t you bring back Barb while you’re at it?
With the Byers family moving out of Hawkins at the end of Season 3, it may be that series regulars Winona Ryder (Joyce) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) decided to back out from a further season, or will have smaller roles.
However, that’s probably not the case if we take Matt Duffer’s interview with Entertainment Weekly as gospel, in which he said: “I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins.”
Stranger Things season 4 could be split into two parts
WeGotThisCovered sources suggest that season 4 could be split in two. The rumor implies that, while there were rumblings that season 4 could be the last, its story will be continued as a second part: season 5. If this rumor bears fruit, it could well be down to the Duffer brothers wanting all the time they can to give the Hawkins kids the send-off they deserve.
Stranger Things Season 4 Episode 1 already has a working title
looking for new members… are you in? pic.twitter.com/P1xAWNUPssNovember 7, 2019
The Stranger Things’ writers account has been teasing the title of Season 4, Episode 1: it’s called The Hellfire Club, which Marvel fans will know from the X-Men comics as a group of villains that includes Emma Frost. It’s possible this is just a working title, or the kids are fans of these characters, but hey, every little detail counts.
Where can I watch Stranger Things season 4?
Stranger Things is one of Netflix’s hottest properties, and, like the previous seasons, Season 4 will almost certainly only be on Netflix.
Netflix is a paid-for online streaming service for browsers, TV streaming devices, and mobile and tablets apps. Even the cheapest Basic Plan on Netflix offers access to the whole catalogue of titles for £5.99 / $8.99 / AU$9.99 a month. However, you’ll need the Premium Plan to watch the show in the highest video quality possible. You can see a breakdown of all the subscription options in our Netflix plans guide.
Will Stranger Things season 4 be in 4K / HDR?
If you’re interested in Stranger Things’ good looks as well – as you should be – you may be wondering what video formats the next season will be filmed in.
All three seasons so far have been filmed in 4K Ultra HD resolution, meaning anyone with a 4K TV and a strong enough internet connection will be able to watch in a huge amount of detail. Seasons 2-3 are also in HDR (high dynamic range), meaning an expanded range of colors and enhanced contrast – important for a show awash with bright colors, dazzling neon, and moody skies – though again you’ll need an HDR-compatible screen to make the most of it.
Netflix also uses the Dolby Vision HDR format, rather than the competing HDR10+ standard – we know this is a lot to think about with your next TV, but some only support one format over the other.