It’s been three years since Netflix released the third season of its nostalgic horror series Stranger Things, and it’s going to be a little longer before we can see what happens next. Netflix finally gave us a rough date for when the series will return: next year.
The series debuted in 2016 to great acclaim, featuring Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp as a close-knit group of friends who stumble on a supernatural, horrific creature in the woods, and a girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) with some special powers who can help them. The series has had a bit of an irregular release schedule—while season two arrived a year after the first, there was a two year gap until the third, and now a four-year gap between three and four.
That hasn’t exactly been intentional: Netflix renewed the show for a fourth season back in 2019, and production was slated to begin at the beginning of 2020, with an anticipated release later that year.
Then COVID-19 hit, and Netflix gave the order to shut down all of its productions, including Stranger Things. But the crew and cast have noted that the break in filming has been useful: in prior seasons, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer were still writing the season, even as cameras started rolling. Matarazzo spoke with Collider earlier this year, and noted that they used the opportunity to finish writing the season ahead of the production’s resumption. And this season’s scale has also caused some delays: speaking with Slashfilm earlier this week, producer Shawn Levy revealed that the series will not only take place in Hawkins, Indiana, but also in Russia, where an early teaser for season four revealed Sheriff Hopper was still alive.
Since that first teaser way back in February 2020, Netflix dropped a second back in May to remind us that the series was still a thing. With today’s news, Netflix brought out short couple of seconds of new footage for us to scrutinize before the series debuts sometime next year.
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Stranger Things returns in 2022. pic.twitter.com/RHwQng4QZh
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) August 6, 2021