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Stranger Things will be looking to 1985 for its next wave of retro influences, David Harbour has teased, as he talks about the creator’s “risky” plans for Season 3.
Netflix’s combination of horror, sci-fi and pure 1980s nostalgia has been a smash hit since its premiere in 2016, as a bunch of kids – with the help of Millie Bobby Brown’s super-powered Eleven and Harbour’s Sheriff Hopper – face down some terrifying monsters in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. With the show bagging another round of Emmy nominations this week – including its second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Drama Series – EP Shawn Levy and Harbour were in a talkative mood, telling Deadline in an interview that Season 3 will be “going to yet darker still, places”.
Harbour, nominated for Supporting Actor and a fan favourite on social media, hinted that after the Stephen King-tinged Season 1 and Spielberg-esque Season 2, Season 3 will be riskier.
“We’re experimenting a lot this season,” he explained, “and we’re taking risks, and I hope that they pay off but they are risks. We’re going into territories we’ve never been to before, and it’s exciting.”
“We had a little softer season with Jim in Season 2,” he said of his own character’s journey, “where he was really working off these fatherly instincts and understanding a responsibility that was larger than himself, and I think one of the things that we missed from Season 1 was this guy who goes into government facilities and punches people in the face. He’s not a doofus, but he’s a bit of a Columbo character.”
Season 3 will combine the two, with “a little more of the swashbuckling Hopper” from Season 1, but who “also has behind him this adopted daughter who he loves very much, so it’s really cool”.
He also hinted that the season will be inspired by some “epic” films from 1985, but ducked out of naming any.
“If you’re a real fan of Stranger Things and you really want to know… I would go look at the great films that were released in 85, of which there were many, and just go down that list and think of the possibilities that we could be going with,” he added. “I think it is a specific season to 1985, and so you’ll see references to that.”
That means you could see influences that range from Teen Wolf, Back to the Future to A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 – or, if the Duffer brothers really want to be risky, Commando, Rocky IV, A View to a Kill or Police Academy 2.
Season 3 has been shooting in Georgia for several weeks, with Levy noting that it is “shaping up really, really well”.
Stranger Things will officially return for Season 3
1st December 2017
Netflix has officially confirmed that Stranger Things will return for Season 3.
The retro sci-fi/horror series was one of the most talked about shows of last year, after it premiered during the summer. The show broke free from its genre appeal to become a mainstream success, bagging a whopping 18 Emmy nominations in the process – including one for Shannon Purser’s Barb. Season 2 dropped at the end of October, carrying on the adventures of a group of kids in Hawkins, Indiana, as they face down monsters, the parallel world of the Upside Down and supernatural powers. Figures from Nielsen suggest that at least 15.8 million people watched the opening episode in Season 2’s first weekend, highlighting just how popular the smash hit continues to be.
Indeed, its creators, the Duffer brothers announced earlier this year that they had been given a green light for a third season, also detailing their plans for a fourth season. Now, Netflix has officially confirmed the renewal, with a cheeky tweet, following a poll asking whether fans would like another run of the series:
FOR THE LOVE OF STEVE, DUH! So hold tight baby darts — season 3 is officially happening.
Stranger Things renewed for Season 3 – and likely to stop at 4
23rd August 2017
Stranger Things will return for a third season, but is likely to stop after four, the show’s creators have revealed.
Netflix’s retro sci-fi/horror series was one of the most talked about shows of last year, after it premiered during the summer. The show broke free from its genre appeal to become a mainstream success, winning a whopping 18 Emmy nominations in the process – including one for Shannon Purser’s Barb.
A year on and we’re preparing to return to the world of 1984 Hawkins, Indiana, a universe of Dragon Quest, Ghostbusters and young boys called Will having visions of a monster-y apocalypse. While the buzz surrounding the show’s third run has been understandably gargantuan, the series may only run for four outings in total.
“We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross said.
Netflix has not confirmed anything – indeed, Season 3 has not even been officially announced by Netflix yet – but the duo said that a third run has already been greenlit.
They “wanted to push things a bit” in Season 2, they added, because “no. 2 is always a little bit bigger” in the sequel world. “I told Matt, ‘I don’t want to call it season two, I just want it to feel like a movie sequel.”
Ending before their idea runs out of steam, meanwhile, is the kind of smarts you’d expect from the brothers who gave us telekinetic teen Elle, the Upside Down and a missing child communicating through Christmas lights. The problems of child stars outgrowing their roles is also a factor.
“I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year,” joked Ross. “They’re going to have to get the fuck out of this town! It’s ridiculous!”
Stranger Things promises “more up-close” horror in Season 2
9th June 2017
Halloween may seem like a long ways off, but Stranger Things Season 2 is on the distant horizon – and as the show’s return draws closer, the cast are starting to divulge more details on what we can expect.
Netflix’s smash hit of last summer won hordes of fans with its blend of sci-fi, nostalgia, mystery and a hefty dose of scares. Now, the writers have confirmed that they’ll be stepping up the horror for the series’ sophomore run, with a new monster and less of the monster’s nastiness happening off-screen.
Speaking to TV Line at a US event, co-showrunner of the programme Ross Duffer commented: “Last season, a lot of the horror and a lot of what was happening with Will was off screen in the Upside down. That’s not the case [in Season 2]. The horror is more up-close and personal.”
Noah Scnapp (Will) added that the show’s second season, which will span a longer nine episodes, will be “darker and more eerie” than the first, with Finn Wolfhard (Mike) teasing that “scarier stuff happens”.
The show will retain its sense of humour, however, as the second seasons’ first promo image of the main characters dressed as the Ghostbusters suggested.
Season 2 of Stranger Things “maintains that sense of fun, which was so important to the first season”, added the other co-showrunner, Matt Duffer. “We didn’t want to lose that sense of wonder.”
Nonetheless, Gaten Matarazzo, aka. Dustin (the funnest of the fun characters), said that the characters have certainly spotted the difference in Will since his return.
“They know he is not well.. But they are just trying to pretend [nothing] happened.”
Joining Will and the others will be newcomer Max, a tomboy character Matarazzo noted he was “very excited” for fans to meet. Another new character will be Max’s older brother, Billy (Dacre Montgomery), whom Wolfhard described as “a bit of a bully who gives Steve a run for his money… a little weird [and] disturbing, but people will love it”.
Matarazzo’s comments follow a chat to the Huffington Post, in which he warned that will Season 2 will offfer fans “a good amount of explanation that they’ve been looking for”, following Season 1’s unanswered questions, there will also be new mysteries and “some new stories coming in that you’re gonna want to hear about if there is a Season 3”.
Stranger Things could go on for four or five seasons
14th February 2017
While the Internet goes wild over Stranger Things Season 2, following the release of new images and a new trailer for the series’ return, creators Ross and Matt Duffer are already thinking further into the future.
EW reports that the brothers have told them they are “envisioning Things will last four or five seasons”, although EW also adds “that can all change”.
They aren’t counting their chickens just yet, apparently sticking to the same approach that made Season 1’s one-long-movie structure so effective: an ending that’s satisfying rounded, but also teases the potential for more.
“Hopefully you’ll come to the end of season 2 and feel fully satisfied and want more but you’ll feel like it has come to a conclusion,” said Matt.
However, “we’ve laid the ground work for further seasons”, he revealed.
Just how many seasons the show will eventually go on for is anybody’s guess – so far Netflix has only renewed it for a second run. But the Duffers aren’t wanting to flog a dead horse. Or whatever it is that Demagorgans do to horses.
“Everything changes as we move forward so we’ll see,” said Ross.
“I want it to have a really finite ending. I don’t want it to be one of those shows that runs out of gas and they lose it because they’re losing interest. You wanna end when you’re on top,” added Matt.
Stranger Things Season 2 is officially happening
13th February 2017
It’s official: Stranger Things will return for Season 2.
Netflix’s original supernatural sci-fi horror drama has been the smash hit of the summer, leaving viewers with oodles of unanswered questions, such as “Why does no one care about Barb?”, “What does Hopper know?”, “Seriously, why does no one care about Barb?”, “What’s with the Eggos?” and “Can we please talk about Barb now?”
But the biggest question has been whether the show would be renewed, with Netflix proving surprisingly evasive on the subject – until now.
Yes, this is not a drill and the Duffer brothers will once more take us back into their world of 80s movie homages and nostalgic creepiness. Details of the plot are scarce, although the Duffer bros have teased lots of details about what they would do, but the presumption is that the show will continue to explore the aftermath of Season 1, which saw a young boy disappear – much to the anguish of his mother (Winona Ryder) – and a whole wormhole of weirdness open up in Hawkins, Indiana.
What we do know for sure is that Matt and Ross Duffer are back on showrunner duties, with 21 Laps producing the show again for Netflix, and Exec Producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen still onboard. Season 2 of Stranger Things will span nine episodes, which will all debut in 2017. That means you have loads of time to catch up on the show if you haven’t seen it – and, if you have, loads of time to watch it again, or just watch us watch it instead:
Stranger Things: One of Netflix’s most popular shows?
Stranger Things is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, claims new research.
The show, which premiered in July, has been the surprise hit of the summer, with its blend of nostalgia, sci-fi and horror winning over fans of Steven King, Spielberg and Carpenter alike. Season 2 theories have run rife across the web, the soundtrack has already been released, and minor character Barb has become a phenomenon in her own right.
Now, stats from Symphony Advanced Media suggest that the show has been such a hit that it’s become one of the streaming site’s most popular shows ever. The company, based in Palo Alto, uses audio recognition technology to track viewership of programmes across devices, ranking Stranger Things as the third most popular Netflix original – behind Orange Is the New Black and Fuller House. That’s if you take into account audience response within its first 35 days on the site.
According to Symphony, 14.07 million adults on average watched Stranger Things, behind Season 4 of OITNB and Season 1 of Fuller House. Making a Murderer, by comparison, average 13.35 million viewers, the same as Daredevil Season 2, while Jessica Jones averaged 6.26 million.
The figures, of course, are not official and should be taken with a pinch of salt; previous claims that Orange Is the New Black is the most-watched Netflix show by third parties (including Symphony) were confirmed by Netflix in 2013 (when Season 2 was its most-streamed original series), but CEO Reed Hastings has otherwise dismissed external analysis of its viewing activity, while Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told the press at the Television Critics Association press tour that between Nielsen and Symphony, who each claim to measure Netflix viewership, report vastly different figures for Orange Is the New Black.
Sarandos reiterated earlier this year that Netflix remains uninterested in divulging numbers, observing that “once we give a number for a show, then every number will be benchmarked off of that show”. At the same time, the site knows that some shows are “built for 2 million people” and others are built for 30 million.
“[Revealing ratings] puts a lot of creative pressure on the talent that we don’t want to,” he commented.
Right now, though, whether you choose to believe the numbers or not, the pressure is clearly on Netflix to renew Stranger Things for Season 2.
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