Stranger Things 4 ended in dramatic fashion, and if you have not finished watching it yet, you’re a total crazy person to have clicked on this article. But presuming you’ve seen it, you know that the Upside Down is seemingly taking over Hawkins, and it’s already killing the earth. What can we expect now? Well, you can expect some familiarity, actually. The Duffer Brothers have revealed some of the first story details for Stranger Things 5, the final season of the series, and it sounds like the show will go back to basics in some ways.
Chiefly, Stranger Things 5 will be set entirely in Hawkins — no trips back to Russia or California, and the classic groups we saw traveling together in the first season will be reunited. “We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in season 1,” said Matt Duffer on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “A lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in season 1 – there’s something nice about coming full circle.”
This news might benefit Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) the most, as he was one of the clear main characters in the first season and has felt kind of sidelined ever since. Will Byers could really use a plot line that doesn’t involve unrequited love too.
Among other first Stranger Things 5 story details, the Duffers predict the season finale will be shorter than the season 4 finale because the show doesn’t need to set up as much conflict this time. Stranger Things 4 ended by already setting up the new conflict for this season, so the story can jump immediately into exploring that.
“I don’t know that (the action is) going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5, but it’s going to be moving pretty fast,” said Matt Duffer. “Characters are already going to be in action. They’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different.”
The Duffer Brothers compare the story of Stranger Things 5 to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the sense that ST5 will have myriad different character endings to unravel, and Return of the King was a movie that spent a significant amount of its runtime just giving endings to its many characters. They have clearly determined what the last 30 minutes of the series will look like, but how they get there is still being formulated.
Stranger Things 5 is tentatively expected to arrive in 2024.