After a hugely successful first season, Netflix's Stranger Things has quickly gone into production on season 2, which is set to arrive on the streaming service next year. It's an ambitious timeline, but one which will no doubt be firmly adhered to; Stranger Things' creators, Ross and Matt Duffer, began work on season 2 before season 1 had even debuted on Netflix and will no doubt be eager to capitalize on the wave of fandom momentum currently behind the series.
In fact, Stranger Things draws its influence from many notorious 1980s films that remain favorites among many a film fan - not least of all, The Goonies. Hence, this next piece of casting news will no doubt be a huge coup for the Duffer Brothers and all who work on the show. Joining the already confirmed returning cast members from Stranger Things season 1 will be Goonies and Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin, Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen, and Aliens star Paul Reiser.
According to EW, Astin is set to play Bob Newby, described as “a kindhearted former nerd who went to high school with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack.” Those who watched Stranger Things season 1 remember that Dustin, Mike and Lucas were in the radio club at school, and super keen in discovering how things work, so it seems reasonable to assume that Astin's character will be associated with this central group (which now includes Noah Scnapp as Will Byers) in some way. Astin's casting fits right in with the show, and maybe, fingers crossed, there might be one or two Goonies references dropped in for good measure.
Berthelsen is playing Roman; a role that sounds like it could have ties to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). The EW description pegs her as "an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab…” Though Berthelsen's name might not be familiar to many, she is an established actress in her native Denmark and should add greatly to the already stellar cast. The line that mentions her not living in Hawkins is an intriguing one, since the action of season 1 focused specifically on the small town. Maybe there are other labs elsewhere, or maybe Roman has been brought to the lab from another country?
Finally, Reiser will play Dr. Owens: “a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year.” His part sounds very much like a villainous role, which would tie in, since the Duffer Brothers cited Aliens as an inspiration for season 2, and Reiser's character in that film, Burke, was hardly a "Nice Guy." Remember, the exact fate of Dr. Brenner, or Eleven's 'papa,' is still unknown, so Dr. Owens could well be his replacement. Would that mean that Brenner is gone for good? Well, this is Stranger Things, so don't count on it.
Stranger Things season 2 will arrive on Netflix in 2017