Eleven Stranger Things Season 4
Netflix

Everything We Know About ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 So Far

The final two episodes of 'Stranger Things' season 4 have finally hit Netflix, but left us on a cliffhanger. Here's everything we know about season 5!
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Although it’s been one of Netflix’s most successful originals, Stranger Things is officially coming to an end. The upcoming fifth season will be the show’s last.

From what’s in store for the Hawkins kids to when the season will likely premiere, here’s everything we know so far about the final season of Stranger Things.

Stranger Things season 4
Netflix

I’m willing to bet that most fans have already watched the highly anticipated final two episodes of season 4, despite the fact that they’re really long. The episodes arrived on Netflix on July 1st. While only two episodes, they’re actually the length of feature films! “Chapter Eight: Papa” has a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes, while “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback” is a whopping 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In other words, there’s certainly no shortage of content for fans who have been eagerly awaiting more. But what do the Duffer brothers have in store for us in the final season of Stranger Things?

Matt and Ross Duffer Have Announced That Season 5 Will Be the Last for Stranger Things

We know that the next season will be the series’ last. The news came straight from series creators Matt and Ross Duffer themselves. They touched on it while announcing that Season 4 would be split into two volumes with separate release dates. In an open letter to fans, the Duffer brothers explained that it’s always been part of the plan to end the show after five seasons.

“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons,” they wrote in the letter back in February. “It proved too large to tell in four, but – as you’ll soon see for yourselves – we are now hurling toward our finale.”

They then confirmed that “season four will be the penultimate season, and season five will be the last.”

I know it’s a bummer to see a favorite show come to an end, but I suppose that’s better than watching it drag out for longer than intended! It’s a fate that many popular shows have suffered. From Once Upon a Time to Grey’s Anatomy, some shows just keep going like the Energizer bunny.

But before you get sad over the end of Stranger Things, we’ve still got season 5 to look forward to! So let’s talk about what we can expect–and when we can expect it.

What to Expect for Stranger Things Season 5

Eleven in Stranger Things
Netflix

If you haven’t already watched those final two episodes of Stranger Things 4, you should stop reading here! Slight spoilers ahead!

But for the rest of us…

We can guess that whatever is in the Upside Down is now coming into the real world, and there’s no dimensional barrier to stop it. Vecna isn’t dead, and it’s easy to assume that Hawkins, Indiana – and the rest of the world – will once again be in peril.

After a deadly showdown and a cliffhanger, we can expect the fifth season to start off running. That final shot of Eleven and friends staring off into the distance makes it clear that the final battle for Hawkins is about to unfold.

“I don’t know that it’s going to be 100 miles an hour at the start of 5, but it’s going to be moving pretty fast,” Matt Duffer said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, according to Entertainment Weekly. “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 of hours and make this season feel really different.”

A Time Jump to Account for Teen Stars Aging Between Seasons

The Duffer brothers have hinted that there will be a time jump because the stars will have aged considerably since we left them at the end of season 4. A time jump would be the only way to make that make sense. I mean, unless they were going to try to digitally de-age everyone in the show (a la Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian) but that seems wildly complicated and unnecessary.

It is expected that we’ll get more answers about the Upside Down, too. While season 4 revealed a lot, there are still some lingering questions that we should see resolved.

It’s also been revealed that season 5 will be set entirely in Hawkins. While we saw the previous season taking place across several locations, the final season goes back to where it started.

Other than that, though, most of the plot has been kept under wraps.

Who Can We Expect to Star in Stranger Things Season 5?

Eleven and Will Stranger Things Season 4
Netflix

Okay, we saw some character deaths in Season 4, but it’s probably safe to assume we will see most of the main cast return: Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington.

Oh, and since Vecna wasn’t actually defeated at the end of season 4, we will probably also see Jamie Campbell Bower return too.

We can expect to meet at least some new faces for the final season. Plus, it’s always a possibility that past cast members could return for recurring or one-off guest appearances.

When Can We Expect to See Stranger Things Season 5?

a person wearing red socks watches Netflix
Shutterstock

It might be a little while before we actually see Season 5 hit Netflix. Fans could be waiting quite some time, especially considering it hasn’t started filming. The streaming giant hasn’t revealed an official release date (or even hinted at a range of dates), but we’re likely looking at late 2023 or early 2024.

It’s reasonable to expect the gap to be shorter than the three-year gap between seasons 3 and 4. That massive delay was partially due to the pandemic putting everyone on hiatus.

We know the show hasn’t started filming yet because the final season hasn’t been written yet. Ross Duffer told Collider that the “writer’s room is going to start in that first week of August.” That pushes filming toward the end of this year. Add to that the extra time for all the special effects that go into this show, and it’s going to be a while.

Stranger Things Spin-Offs Could Be a Possibility

Matt and Ross Duffer dropped a hint that there could be Stranger Things spin-offs in the future. Whether or not they actually happen, we’ll have to wait and see. Though it sounds kind of promising if you ask me.

During their open letter to fans, they also mentioned that there are “many more exciting stories” left to explore in the world they created.

“There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.”

While on its own, that could be interpreted as the “exciting stories” they gave us in Season 4 and what’s planned in Season 5. However, the whole thing was followed by: “But first we hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down.”

In other words, those “new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes” are not related to the story of Eleven and her friends.

Okay, Matt and Ross Duffer Are Making Spin-Off Plans Already

Although a spin-off hasn’t been officially announced or confirmed, the Duffer brothers are clearly already making plans. And they’ve confirmed that it won’t follow any of our beloved characters from Stranger Things.

“It’s not following… I’ve read these rumors that there’s gonna be an Eleven spin-off, that there’s gonna be a Steve and Dustin spin-off, or that it’s another number,” They said during an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, according to Variety. “That’s not interesting to me because we’ve done all that. We’ve spent I don’t know how many hours exploring all of that. So it’s very different.”

Don’t expect to see anything immediately, though. Matt and Ross have no plans to jump into a spin-off until Stranger Things Season 5 has wrapped.

It’s also worth noting that they would need Netflix to sign on for a spin-off show. The Duffers can’t exactly do it on their own. Although, with the numbers that Stranger Things has been pulling, Netflix would likely be more than willing to chat with the Duffer brothers about new shows.

I’m willing to bet that the streaming giant might have some words about budget moving forward, though. The production budget for Stranger Things is huge. Supposedly, Season 4 was the most ambitious to date. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Netflix hit’s fourth season cost around $30 million, or maybe more. That might be a little scary to Netflix, considering they reportedly lost around 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and expect to lose even more throughout the rest of the year.