Ever since it first premiered on Netflix back in 2016, Stranger Things has consistently been one of the most popular television shows around. The original series from creators The Duffer Brothers mixes 80s nostalgia with suspense storytelling to craft an addictive series that’s heavy on homages to classics from the likes of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg while also working well as its own, original sci-fi story packed with lovable characters.
Stranger Things has aired three seasons thus far, but right now all eyes are on Stranger Things 4. The upcoming fourth season is one of the most highly anticipated new seasons of television currently in the offing, and fans are eager to find out everything they can about what the new episodes will entail. So below we’ve assembled everything we know about Stranger Things Season 4 so far, from plot and casting details to filming updates, and even episode names.
Editor’s Note: Updated August 11, 2021 with the new trailer, release date window, and new information on the plot and setting of Season 4.
Watch the Stranger Things Season 4 Trailer
To mark the start of filming on February 4, 2020, the very first Stranger Things Season 4 trailer was released. It’s a brief teaser and only includes footage of David Harbour’s Hopper, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Then on May 6, 2021, another teaser was released that took us back to the Rainbow Room and hinted at more of Eleven’s origin story being told in Season 4. And then on August 6, 2021 we got our most substantial look yet at new footage from the season.
When Is the Stranger Things Season 4 Release Date?
Netflix has not yet announced exactly when Stranger Things Season 4 will be released, but we learned in August 2021 that the new season will definitely be released sometime in 2022. Netflix’s original plan was undoubtedly impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. Filming began in January 2020 and was only able to last for a couple of months before production was shut down on the new season due to the pandemic, and then filming didn’t resume until October 2020. Originally, filming was supposed to last seven months, from January to August 2020, but even then Stranger Things has a long post-production schedule.
At the shortest, there will be a four-month gap between when filming ends and Stranger Things Season 4 is released. And at longest, quite a bit longer than that. So it’s most likely that Stranger Things Season 4 will be released sometime in the first half of 2022, possibly even in the first quarter.
Who Is in the Stranger Things Season 4 Cast?
The entire main ensemble from Stranger Things 3 is set to return for Stranger Things 4, which includes Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Maya Hawke.
Additionally, Priah Ferguson, Cara Buono, and Brett Gelman have been promoted to series regulars for Stranger Things Season 4. And the new season will also see the return of Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner, as confirmed in the second teaser trailer.
New additions to the cast include Jamie Campbell Bower, Eduardo Franco, and Joseph Quinn as series regulars, with Robert Englund, Tom Wlaschiha, Nikola Duričko, Joel Stoffer, Sherman Augustus, Mason Dye, Tyner Rushing, and Joe Chrest, Amybeth McNulty, Myles Truitt, Regina Ting Chen, and Grace Van Dien cast in recurring roles.
Who Are the New Characters in Stranger Things Season 4?
Jamie Campbell Bower will play Peter Ballard, a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital.
Eduardo Franco will play Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) new best friend Argyle, described as a fun-loving stoner who works as a delivery man for Sufer Boy Pizza.
Joseph Quinn plays Eddie Munson, an audacious 80s metalhead who runs The Hellfire Club, Hawkins High School’s official Dungeons and Dragons club. Hated by those who don’t understand him, and beloved by those who do, Eddie will find himself at the terrifying epicenter of this season’s mystery.
Tom Wlaschiha will play Dmitri, a Russian prison guard who befriends Hooper during his imprisonment. Described as smart, cunning, and charming, the question for Dmitri is can he be trusted as Hopper plots his escape.
Sherman Augustus plays Lt. Colonel Sullivan, an intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he knows how to stop the evil in Hawkins once and for all.
Mason Dye fills the role of handsome rich kid Jason Carver, a jock who dates the most popular girl in school but finds his perfect world unraveling as a new evil threatens Hawkins.
Nikola Duričko will play Yuri, a seedy and unpredictable Russian smuggler who loves bad jokes, cold hard cash, and crunchy-style peanut butter.
Anne with An E star Amybeth McNulty will play Vickie, a cool, fast-talking band nerd who catches the eye of one of our beloved heroes.
Myles Truitt will play Patrick, a Hawkins basketball star who has friends, talent, and a good life…until shocking events send his life spiraling out of control.
Regina Ting Chen will play Ms. Kelly, a popular guidance counselor who cares deeply for her students — especially those struggling the most.
Grace Van Dien will play Chrissy, Hawkins High’s lead cheerleader and the most popular girl in school. But beneath the seemingly perfect surface lies a dark secret.
And last but not least, Nightmare on Elm Street legend Robert Englund will play Victor Creel, a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.
When Is Stranger Things Season 4 Filming?
Filming on Stranger Things Season 4 began in January 2020 in a very different location – Lithuania. The production decided to begin with the scenes of Hopper in that Russian prison, as they used Lithuania to stand in for the snowy landscape of Russia – as we saw in the Season 4 teaser trailer. Production then moved to Atlanta, which has been the base of operations for the previous three seasons, but after about a few weeks of filming the COVID-19 pandemic hit and production was shut down. Filming finally resumed in September in Georgia, but production has been shooting in blocks so cast members have been in and out of Atlanta.
Speaking in March 2021, cast member Gaten Matarazzo explained the back-and-forth nature of Stranger Things Season 4 filming:
“There’s very few dates that are reliable. It really is more of a guesstimation on when we’re gonna be filming next, when we’re gonna be wrapping up, when release is gonna be, all that jazz because we still don’t know on day-to-day if we’re gonna be filming next week. I should be filming like next month for a bigger chunk than I’ve had in a bit, but even though it’s coming up in about two weeks from now, I still don’t know an exact date. So because of that, there’s really no way to figure out when we’re gonna be wrapping.”
Executive producer Shawn Levy elaborated on why Season 4 is taking so long to film:
“As much as it pains our viewers that it will have been so long, trust me, it pains Matt, Ross, and I more. It is a kind of perfect storm combination of COVID shutdown, slower pace of filming in COVID protocols and health protocols, which are necessary, and coincidentally we chose Season 4 to be by far — and I mean, by far, far, far — the most ambitious of the seasons.”
When Is Stranger Things Season 4 Set?
While we don’t know exactly when Stranger Things Season 4 is set, we can make an educated guess based on the time jump between past seasons. Season 1 took place in November of 1983, Season 2 took place in October of 1984, and Season 3 took place in the Summer of 1985. The longest time jump Stranger Things has had between seasons has been a year, however, it’s possible the timeline for Season 4 has shifted a bit as a way to explain how significantly the cast has grown since production was delayed due to the pandemic. So we expect Stranger Things Season 4 to be set anywhere from the fall/winter of 1985 to sometime in 1986 or possibly even 1987.
What Is the Stranger Things Season 4 Story?
The bulk of the Stranger Things 4 story is under wraps, but when filming on the new season began in February of 2020, a brief synopsis was revealed that confirmed that David Harbour’s Hopper would return, and that the character wasn’t dead after all. You’ll recall that the ending of Stranger Things 3 saw Hopper sacrificing himself in front of the giant wormhole that Russians had opened up underneath Hawkins, Indiana. But in a post-credits scene, we were transported to a Russian prison where guards were talking about “the American” in one of their cells.
In Season 4 of Stranger Things, Hopper is imprisoned in Kamchatka, Russia where “he will face dangers both human… and other.” Indeed, in that Stranger Things 3 post-credits scene we also saw that the Russians had their own Demogorgon.
During. a recent interview with Collider, Harbour expanded on how Hopper’s time in the Russian prison changes the character, teasing a “resurrection” and “resurgence” for the character along the lines of Gandalf’s transformation in Lord of the Rings.
“I can talk about Hopper. I guess I say this about a lot of seasons, but it’s my favorite season, in the sense that he’s at his purest, he’s at his most vulnerable, in a sense. He’s been, as we’ve seen, he’s in this Russian prison, so we get to reinvent him in a sense. He gets to have a rebirth from what he had become, and we’d always sort of planned this almost resurrection of you have Gandalf dies, Gandalf the [White] re-emerge, and I’m really interested in this resurgence of him. We get to explore a lot of threads in his life that have merely been hinted at that we get to see a lot more of. And there’s some real surprises that you know nothing about that will start to come out in this and play big as the series goes on.”
The Duffer Brothers have also stated that Season 4 will explore the world beyond Hawkins, Indiana, as last we saw the Byers family they had adopted Eleven and were moving out of Hawkins. That doesn’t mean Season 4 is leaving the hometown behind, however, as we know from the casting descriptions that the Hellfire Club – the Dungeons and Dragons club at Hawkins High – plays a major role in the new season.
We also know from the casting breakdown that at least part of the season revolves around a psychiatric hospital, and the second teaser trailer revealed that we’ll see further flashbacks to Eleven’s time as a child at the facility run by Martin Brenner – including the eponymous Rainbow Room.
And Shawn Levy revealed that the ambitious story for Stranger Things 4 takes place in three different locations — Hawkins, Russia, and an as-yet undisclosed third location.
What Are the Stranger Things Season 4 Episode Names?
Right now we only know the title of the first episode of Stranger Things Season 4, which is called “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club.” This is a reference to the official Dungeons and Dragons club at Hawkins High School, so one imagines that plays a major role in the first episode of the season.