Stranger Things season 4: Release date, spoilers, cast, news and everything we know

2 September 2019, 22:42 | Updated: 2 September 2019, 22:46

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Stranger Things season 4 has already been confirmed by producer Shawn Levy but has not yet officially been renewed by Netflix. Here's everything we know about season 4 so far, including news, spoilers and theories.

Stranger Things season 3 is here. It's out. We've seen it. We're now in recovery and will need 3-5 business days to recover. And we know it's only been five minutes but it's only a matter of time now before we find out what lies ahead for Will, Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Lucas and Max in season 4 of the Netflix show. We know, we know, we're getting away ahead of ourselves... but that still doesn't mean we can't speculate and theorise amongst ourselves, does it?

READ MORE: Stranger Things 4 starts filming in October 2019, according to Cara Buono

Of course, considering that the third season has only just been released, there's no way we'll be getting any big plot details out of the Duffer Brothers and producer Shawn Levy but what do have is theories and clues based on the end of season 3.

READ MORE: Stranger Things '3 inches' theory could prove exactly where Jim Hopper is

A lot more details will become clearer once we get some answers to those unanswered questions from season 3 but for now, here's what we know about the fourth season of Stranger Things.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR STRANGER THINGS 3.

Stranger Things 4: Release date, spoilers, news and cast
Stranger Things 4: Release date, spoilers, news and cast. Picture: Netflix

Has Stranger Things season 4 been confirmed?

Yes, technically... Speaking to Collider, producer Shawn Levy said that “season four is definitely happening”, adding that “there’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided".

As of right now, there has been no official confirmation of a renewal by Netflix but given that the Duffer Brothers are confident that they have more story to tell, it's likely that Netflix will go ahead with a fourth season - and maybe a fifth.

The cast have all spoken about what they know in regards to season 4 already so you can bet your ass that we'll get an announcement very soon.

When will Stranger Things season 4 be released?

Due to the production schedule, there's no way of predicting when Stranger Things 4 will be released on Netflix. Season one saw a July 2016 premiere date, while season 2 saw an October 2017 premiere date. Season 3 was released on July 4th 2019.

Season 2 and 3's release dates also coincided with the timeline of the actual show. For example, season 2 dropped on Halloween, which is when the season took place and season 3 dropped on July 4th, mirroring the holiday weekend and summer setting. (Season one did not follow this trend. Will Byers went missing in November, while the show was released in July.)

Production has not started on season 4 either, which means we could be waiting long than a year. Season 3 began shooting in April 2018 and wrapped in November 2018.

In an interview with Poland In, Cara Buono (who plays Mrs Wheeler) revealed that filming on season 4 will begin in October 2019. If the season follows the same production schedule, season 4 will likely be released at the end of 2020.

Some fans seem to have spotted what looks like Joyce's green Ford Pinto and Hopper's Blazer arriving in Rome, Ohio, along with several other cars from the show but that's all unconfirmed so far.

How many episodes will be in Stranger Things season 4?

That all depends on how much story the Duffer Brothers have to tell. Season 1 had 8 episodes, season 2 had 9 episodes and season 3 went back to 8 episodes.

We can probably expect around 8 episodes to appear in season 4.

What year will Stranger Things 4 be set in?

So far, each season has taken place a year apart - with season 1 set in 1983, 2 in 1984, and 3 in 1985. Unless there’s a huge time leap or it takes them way too long to bring out the fourth, it’s looking like season 4 could be set in 1986.

Of course, the age of the younger cast members could affect the year that the season is set in. Given that they're all growing up fast, the show could flash forward a few more years. Caleb McLaughlin, who turns 18 this year, can only play a 14-year-old for so long!

If the show goes beyond 1986, they will also have to find a way to address the career of a young Winona Ryder. Winona's debut film role was in 1986's Lucas. She then appeared alongside Rob Lowe in Square Dance in 1987. If the show ever makes it to 1988, they're surely gonna have to reference how much a young Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice and Veronica Sawyer from Heathers looks like Joyce Byers, right?

via GIPHY

Which cast members will return for Stranger Things season 4?

Well... given what happens at the end of season 3, the cast list will have a couple of big missing pieces when we return for season 4 but more on that in a sec. We’ll probably see most of our favourite cast members returning, hopefully with some new faces.

Noah Schnapp (Will), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Sadie Sink (Max) will hopefully all return. Winona Ryder is also bound to return as everyone’s favourite mom Joyce Byers.

Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer and Joe Keery - whose characters might likely be full time college students - should all return too. Fans will no doubt love to see Priah Ferguson (Erica) and Maya Hawke (Robin) return in season 4 as well, after their iconic scenes in season 3. Cara Buono who plays Karen Wheeler will also probably return.

And now for the sad news...

Unless there’s flashback scenes involved, Dacre Montgomery will probably not be returning, as Billy was killed by the Mind-Flayer monster in the battle of Starcourt at the end of season 3.

There’s also the rather big looming question about whether or not David Harbour, who plays the beloved Jim Hopper, will return for season 4. At the end of the season, it’s 'confirmed' that Hopper died when the machine exploded but the post credit scene could hint otherwise. Is Hopper still alive? It's a possibility...

Did Hopper die in Stranger Things 3? Is Hopper still alive?

In the three month later epilogue, we’re told that Hopper died in a "fire" after the underground Russian machine exploded but the thing is, we didn’t see him die and there was absolutely no blood, flesh or bones left in the area he was standing when the explosion happened.

Could Hopper have been caught by the Russians when Joyce closed her eyes to turn the keys? Is he the American prisoner in the cell? Did he jump into the Upside Down just before the machine exploded? Or should we all just let it go and accept the fact that he died a hero, saving Hawkins in the process? NEVER!

READ MORE: You can call Murray's phone number in Stranger Things 3 for a huge season 4 easter egg

In the Behind The Scenes: Stranger Things 3 podcast, Matt and Ross Duffer discussed their thought process and decision behind Hopper's big sacrifice in episode 8 - and it's led to a huge new theory.

“We always talk about The Empire Strikes Back. We always wanted to give [Hopper] a darker ending; we always wanted to give him a Han Solo sacrifice moment,” Matt said.

Han Solo is captured and ends up sacrificing himself at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. He is ultimately frozen in carbonite - but he doesn't die. At the start of Return Of The Jedi, Han Solo is saved on a rescue mission and later unfrozen by Leia. Matt's comment have now led to fans speculating that Hopper will return much like Han Solo.

David Harbour's Instagram also appears to be hinting at a theory involving Murray Bauman's phone number that proves Hop is alive.

What will happen in Stranger Things 4?

The end of season 3 saw the gang split. Joyce Byers finally moved out of Hawkins, taking Will and Eleven with her. Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Max all remained, along with Nancy, Steve, Robin and Erica. Season 4 could explore those new dynamics, and how the party will get on without two of their key players.

On the romance front, Mike and Eleven’s relationship will be tested too. Max and Lucas were still a thing at the end of the season while Steve remains single after Robin came out to him. Dustin’s relationship with Suzie (who is real!!) could be a part of the season too. Nancy and Jonathan will no doubt be a couple but could see their relationship tested with college and distance. And as for Joyce… justice for Jopper.

Despite not managing to re-open the gate to the Upside Down, the Russians are still at large and are now in the possession of the original Demogorgon. How they got it remains to be explained but it’s there - and they’re probably about to weaponise it for reals.

Speaking of the Russians, there’s still the looming question over the identity of the American prisoner they’re holding captive in Russia… all signs are pointing to Chief Hopper but are our suspicions correct? The next season will probably have more focus on the Russians and reveal the identity of that prisoner. Could it be Dr Brenner?

The main storyline of season 4 could focus on Eleven and how, or if, she ever gets her powers back. At the end of season 3, following the battle in the mall, El loses her powers and she's no longer able to move things with her mind. With the Upside Down threat now at large again, it's only a matter of time before she attempts to regain those powers to save her friends.

And once she regains those powers, she'll no doubt be able to locate Hopper if he's still alive, right?

What have the cast said about Stranger Things 4?

So far, most of the cast members have just expressed what they'd like to see, mainly because they don't actually know too much about what's happening. It's all very top secret.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Schnapp revealed that he already has a few ideas about where Will will be next season saying, "I know that I might have a separate storyline from everyone else, so we might be filming, like, in another place."

Considering the Byers family moved away from Hawkins with Eleven, could most of Will's storyline have absolutely nothing to do with Hawkins and his friends?

David Harbour also has absolutely no idea if Jim Hopper is dead or alive, or who that American prisoner is. "I have no idea!" he said to ET Online, before expressing his hopes that Jim is alive. "I mean that, of course, is my hope, too. It seems pretty crazy, though!"

"He did glance around a little bit, but he seemed to be trapped and the machine exploded. And then you cut to... some town in Russia right? Where there’s some American and some prisoner. I don't know, I mean, it seems strange."

The Duffer Brothers also confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that season 4 is “going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins.”

“Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, is a tease,” said Ross Duffer. “That’s obviously going to play a huge role in a potential season four.”