Stranger Things 4 creators defend making the finale episode over 2 hours long
29 June 2022, 15:50
"There really wasn't a good spot to break it...if someone wants to pause it, they can."
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This is a code red: There's only TWO DAYS until Stranger Things 4's show-stopping Volume 2 drops onto our Netflix accounts, and fans can expect an absolutely epic – and devastating – ending to an already brilliant season.
In case you haven't heard, Stranger Things 4 Volume 2's total runtime clocks in at around 4 hours. Episode 8 is 1 hour and 25 minutes long, but episode 9? It's pretty much a Marvel movie-length cinematic epic. Stranger Things 4's season finale will be 2 hours and 19 minutes long. (Yes, really.)
The Duffer brothers have now defended and explained their decision to keep the length of the episode as long as it is, rather than splitting the final episode into two episodes with shorter runtimes.
When the runtime for the final episode was announced on Twitter, some people criticised the whole thing, complaining that TV shows shouldn't be a long as movies and that quality was more important than quantity.
In an interview with Variety, Matt and Ross Duffer spoke about the length of the episodes, explaining that the way in which the episodes are written mean that it was impossible to break it up.
"We looked at the final episode 'cause it's so long. There really wasn't a good spot to break it," Ross explained. "So it's like, why, at the end of the day, you know, if someone wants to pause it, they can."
He continued: "Even to do sound and editing, we had to break it into reels. Reel 1 is build up/dread, reel 2 is action/chaos, and then reel 3 is our traditional come down. You didn't really wanna break it after just the build up, it wouldn't feel like a satisfying episode. So, at some point we just said, 'Well... it's just a mega episode.'"
Official finale runtime: 2 hours and 19 minutes— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) June 3, 2022
Speaking further about the length of the other episodes in the season – all around 75 minutes long – the brothers explained how they ended up leaning into the oversized runtimes.
"To me it wasn't about length, it was about pace," Matt explained. "Ross and I stay very focused on pacing and making sure that pacing is working. And then the length, the fact that we could say it's supersized – we were worried about fans were getting really irritated at the length between seasons. And so we're able to go, 'Yeah, it's been a long time because the episodes are extra long.' You're almost getting two seasons."
He continued: "You look at one of the episodes, like, you couldn't cut it out 15 minutes early. Structurally we have this year, I think it was four major storylines. And they each have three or four beats per episode. So they're all building toward a specific point."
There you have it. And I don't know about you but with confirmation that Stranger Things is ending with season 5, I'll take as many super-sized episodes as they're offering. A 3-hour series finale? Give it to me.
Read more about Stranger Things here:
- Who dies in Stranger Things 4 Volume 1? All the deaths explained
- Who is Vecna in Stranger Things 4? His powers and identity explained
- Stranger Things fans are convinced Steve is going to die in season 4 and I am terrified
- Stranger Things' Joseph Quinn teases Eddie Munson's fate in season 4
- Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 release date: When does it come out on Netflix?
- Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 trailer: Here's what happens next