As the second season of Stranger Things rapidly approaches, fans are scouring the web for spoilers, Eleven GIFs and Will memes to tide them over.
Some of the most devoted fans have kept up with what Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and the rest of the gang have been up to since the first season aired. From awards show appearances to fun shenanigans with late show hosts, they haven’t disappointed. When we missed the show most we could still tune in for an alternate version of Barb returning from the Upside Down or a hilarious game of Stranger Strings with Jimmy Fallon.
Initially fans were pretty bummed about having to wait an extra few months to see the second season. After the first season debuted in June 2016, many simply assumed that the second season would follow suit, but Netflix doesn’t follow the same formula as cable TV. Once we realized that the new season would coincide with Halloween, it made perfect sense: this season is set to be scarier, more character-driven, and even heavier on the ’80s nostalgia.
Luckily we have the Instagram feeds of all of the cast members to peruse for not only clues, but also behind the scenes fun to enjoy before we get to the meat of the season. On October 27 we’ll all be returning to Hawkins to binge watch our favorite 80s throwback show.
Until then, here are Stranger Things: 15 Behind The Scenes Pictures Every Fan NEEDS To See.
15. Will And Eleven Clean Up Nice
Who knew that Will, last seen vomiting up a slug from the Upside Down, and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), looking “pretty good” in a wig and dress ensemble reminiscent of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, could look so dashing?
Along with the rest of their castmates, the stars of the show have appeared in various magazines over the last year appearing much better than their grime-covered, lead-stickered, nose-bleeding, goop-puking counterparts.
Fans may also know that Brown and Schnapp are BFFs, even though their characters never met on the show… yet! Once Will returned from the Upside Down, Eleven found herself trapped there after protecting her friends from the demogorgon.
Perhaps we’ll finally get to see the best friends on screen together during the new season. It will be interesting to see how their friendship develops on-screen after they spent the entire first season not knowing one another but hearing about each other from the rest of the gang.
14. Gaten Matarazzo Grins Before Oral Surgery
Gaten Matarazzo has a rare genetic disorder known as cleidocranial dysplasia. In a nutshell, it means that he was born without collar bones, making his face and skull unable to grow like most people’s features. It also means that he has no real teeth and relies on a fake set. When the “mouth breathers” on Stranger Things make fun of Dustin, they are actually mocking a real condition.
Anyone who has ever been bullied due to their appearance can empathize with Dustin, and he’s written so well that nothing ever seems to truly get him down. He remains positive no matter the odds. Some have compared Dustin’s character to that of Chunk of The Goonies or Vern of Stand by Me, but he’s truly his own young man.
Matarazzo is on the road toward having his own teeth one day, though, and he looks pretty proud about it! He had oral surgery this month as another step toward his goal. Once he has his real teeth, they will likely affect his sound and look on the show as well as in his life, so fans will be with Matarazzo as he achieves one of his dreams and gets his own teeth.
13. Dustin And Will Have A Wizards’ Duel
We’ve seen the boys duel it out with a demogorgon both on the Dungeon & Dragons role playing game board as well as in real life, but we’re craving much more as the season begins.
Is the wizard’s duel we caught between Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Noah Schnapp (Will) just some fun and games on the set or is it a clue we should apply to the season? It’s possible that the two are simply Harry Potter fans and wanted to horse around behind the scenes, but there are definitely wizard’s duels in the game.
Did one of the boys cast a Witchbolt to create a duel between them? Depending on the version of D&D they’re engaging in and the House Rules they are applying, there are a few things that could be happening here. It can be a complicated process and a lot of times it’s just players showing off, so perhaps the scene will either be comedic or some relationship building between the two characters.
12. Nancy And Jonathan Are An Item IRL?!
Nancy and Jonathan fans let out ear-piercing cheers when they heard the news that while the two may not be a couple on the show (yet!), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Natalia Dyer (Nancy) are an item off-screen. They’re not quite holding hands in this photo together but they look like a pretty comfortable and casual couple strolling together. Perhaps their attraction made their on-screen tension that much more believable.
While there are plenty of people who like Nancy and Steve (Joe Keery) together, Keery has alluded to the possibility that the two will break up during season two. In an exclusive Twitter spoiler, he revealed that he will be spending more time this season with someone younger. While the spoiler alone isn’t enough to start breakup rumors, it was accompanied by a broken heart graphic. Coupled with Nancy and Jonathan pairing up again to save the world (she points out that they only hang out when the world is ending in the latest trailer), this may point to a new pairing on the show.
11. Millie’s Birthday Wishes
Noah Schnapp hit the big 1-3 recently and Millie Bobby Brown wished him a happy day along with the rest of the gang. The fact that the kids are reaching their teen years means a lot in terms of the show and filming.
Look no further than the Harry Potter franchise to see what happens when you don’t film continuously with adolescents! They grow pretty rapidly during this time of their lives and if the Duffer Brothers want to incorporate (or exclude) vocal changes and huge growth spurts, they’ll have to do some careful planning from here on in.
10. Caleb McLaughlin and Future Lucas?
Comic Con moments lead to some of the best surprise photos fans can appreciate, often because they actually feature the fans themselves!
This fan who met up with Caleb McLaughlin at Tampa Megacon really showed his dedication and spirit to Lucas, his character on the show. In fact, since McLaughlin was out of his usual Lucas-wear, the fan looked even more the part, albeit taller! He wore Lucas’s coat and bandanna, and he even carried a backpack and a sign that read, “Have you seen Will?”
The cast of Stranger Things has proven to be pretty gracious regarding fans, but McLaughlin seems especially happy to pose with one of his fans here.
9. An Army Of Dustins
Did Melissa McCarthy inspire this hilarious publicity stunt with her time as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live, zipping through traffic with her ridiculous podium? The show has parodied Stranger Things as well, so maybe they’re connected, or maybe Netflix just came up with this zany idea.
Either way, deploying an entire “army” of Dustins into New York on bicycles is a much more brilliant strategy to get people excited and talking about the upcoming season than just sticking to billboards alone.
During the first week of October, Netflix sent 20 Dustin doubles (loosely speaking) on pedicabs throughout the city, complete with ’80s music playing.
8. Joyce and the boys
There’s usually a reason why directors place a person of one gender between two people of the opposite gender and it’s not to create an easy to identify pattern for your SATs. In fact, given that Sean Astin’s character Bob is meant to be “the new Barb,” (the name even sounds the same, depending on your accent) there is plenty of potential for some grown-up drama here.
Astin, who played Mikey in The Goonies, confirms that his character is frequently featured on the show and is likely to become a new fan favorite.
We know that Bob is meant to be a love interest for Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), but in the past we also know that Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is rumored to have possibly had a relationship with her at some point. He helped her rescue her son and all three characters attended high school together, so there could be a lot of history we don’t yet know about.
Is the cozy way that Ryder and Harbour sit next to one another in this behind the scenes picture a clue that there’s something between their characters? Time will tell, but it’s possibly just due to their comfortable working relationship.
7. Charlie Heaton In Stranger Wings
It’s official. The cast of Stranger Things has out-parodied itself. In one of Natalia Dyer’s funniest Instagram posts, she shows Charlie Heaton posing with a bunch of birds perched on his body and dubs it “Stranger Wings.” She went a step further and said that she would miss him in season two of the show but that she is glad that he is able to do what he loves, congratulating him on his “new one man show.”
We love how goofy the cast members of the show are together and this is no exception. From handing out sandwiches to an unsuspecting audience to surprising them with a rendition of “Uptown Funk,” starring in their own parody led by Jimmy Fallon to posing for silly photos like this one, it’s clear that they have a lot of fun with each other. That camaraderie certainly shows on screen.
6. Will Loves The Upside Down
Nearly every time we saw Will during the first season of Stranger Things, he was suffering somehow – either in the Upside Down or due to the effects of his being trapped there. This photo, which Noah Schnapp says truly captures his love of acting, proves that there was some mirth to be had during those scenes! Somehow it makes it feel a little less heartbreaking.
Speaking of the Upside Down (spoiler alert!), Millie Bobby Brown just released a major spoiler through a video clip at Comic Con London of how Eleven escaped the desolate world. Discovering a portal between the Upside Down and Hawkins, she used her powers to push through, entering the school and finding herself back home in the process.
5. Season 2 Features Dig Dug
Dig Dug is one of the most popular games featured in 1980s arcades, and its presence in the show seems to be much stronger than the usual nod we’ve come to expect from Stranger Things. Instead, it would appear to be prominently featured in the show in both a physical and metaphorical sense.
In the trailer, we can see the arcade games while the boys play and Will seems to suffer more flashbacks (if that is what they are) from his time in the Upside Down. In this photo of the Duffer brothers coaching the young actors, they all hover around the Dig Dug game that will be featured in the episode.
In a metaphorical sense, a Dig Dug theme may be used this season. We’ve seen promotional pictures featuring the game title with Hopper as well as the character appearing to climb through a long tunnel. Other characters also seem to be entering a mysterious tunnel. This is such a cool throwback and we love how the Duffer brothers continue to utilize the ’80s in such creative ways.
4. Goonies Never Say Die
There seems to be a Goonies takeover in the second season of Stranger Things! Not only is Sean Astin starring in the show this year, but Jonathan Ke Quan, who played Data in The Goonies, also stopped by to chat with Noah Schnapp! How cool would it be to see cameos of all of the Goonies in the show?
Schnapp was adorably starstruck seeing Ke Quan, tagging Sean Astin on Twitter to say how epic the encounter was and that Data was a legend. He said he also loved to see all of the people who love the show, so Ke Quan must’ve given him some compliments in return.
Who else would be an amazing ’80s throwback to see on the show? Noah Hathaway or Wil Wheaton would be a couple of obvious choices. Then again, the cast members seem to run into plenty of other celebrities, like…
3. Chris Kattan Thinks Will Is Mike
Any fan of Stranger Things is well aware of who Will Byers is. He’s the kid whom the show is centered around yet who also has the least amount of screen time; you know, the one who was given a fake cotton-filled body and autopsy. If you mistake Mike for Will, you probably aren’t paying much attention.
But that’s what actor Chris Kattan did when he met Noah Schnapp. The photo they took together after Kattan committed the faux pas is priceless. Kattan looks mortified and afraid of the outraged Schnapp, but we all know it’s in good fun.
What makes the photo even more fun is that Schnapp captioned it with a consolation for Kattan, forgiving him for his mistake and informing him that when he first met Kattan he thought he was Jimmy Fallon!
2. Cast Welcomes Sadie Sink
When fans first heard word that Stranger Things would feature Sadie Sink as a new character, many minds automatically grasped for the obvious– that she might be another escaped child with gifts turning to Hawkins for help. Once trailers featuring the American Odyssey and The Glass Castle actress aired we saw that it was likely another scenario.
In the latest trailer, she’s shown right after Lucas says, “That’s why we need all the help we can get!” She appears to be a pretty normal kid, so perhaps she’s a new friend from school.
Caleb McLaughlin gave an exclusive Twitter spoiler, saying that his character may have found “his Eleven,” which prompts viewers to think that he either meant that as his protector, his telekinetic friend, or his love interest. Whoever she is, it’s clear that the cast has welcomed her on board with open arms with this fun behind the scenes photo.
1. Masters at work
Perhaps one of them is thinking, “This is where the magic happens.” More likely? They’re thinking, “Are we really going to let these tweens and teens cuss on Netflix?” The latest news is just that. The youngest members of the Stranger Things cast have pointed out that they feel stupid not saying curse words in the show and they’re quite right; we heard much stronger terms from the teens of many of our favorite ’80s movies.
The Duffer brothers say that the kids’ vocabularies are much more piratical in person than they are in the show, but since Netflix okayed their cursing requests we can expect some stronger language than we encountered last season, which should make the show feel even more realistic. We should also expect a “scarier” season this time around so parents may want to take a peek before sharing it with their own kids.
Do you have any behind-the-scenes snaps from Stranger Things to share? Let us know in the comments!
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