In 2016, no freshman series was quite as well-received or popular as Netflix's Stranger Things, and ever since the first season was released, fans have been anxiously waiting for the premiere of its second. While the first season ended with most of the main characters reunited and happy again, the season's final few moments hinted at more danger coming their way from the Upside Down. Unfortunately, both Netflix and the series' creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, have remained tight-lipped about the follow-up so far, making it near impossible to guess where Stranger Things' second season will take its characters next.
There have been small details that were released, like the second season's episode titles, and even more notably the additions of Sean Astin and Paul Reiser to the cast. Both seemed like dream actors for the series, with Astin in particular feeling like a slightly tongue-in-cheek bit of casting considering his role in The Goonies, one of the '80s films that the series was often compared to.
Speaking with ET at the Producers Guild Awards, the Duffer Brothers briefly talked about both actors' roles in the new season. First, they confirmed that Astin's Bob Newby will, indeed, work at RadioShack and will be the new boyfriend of Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), before going on to praise the actor's performance:
"Sean Astin is a force. He's gonna surprise. He's just an incredible actor and he blows us away every day on set. Bob is new to our weird Hawkins group, but he's immediately memorable and I think people are going to be very surprised by where that takes them this year."
As for Reiser, the creators' revealed that his character was actually written for him, as a bit of fan casting on their parts:
"I've been dreaming of Paul Reiser for a while and we got him in there! The character [he plays] was named Paul Reiser for a long time and we were just like, 'We should just [reach out]. We should just see if he wants to do it.' And he did want to do it because his kid liked it! He didn't understand the show but his kid explained it."
Taking heavy inspiration from the 1980s work of filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, Stranger Things wore its influences on its sleeve, making them some of their more lovable aspects instead of feeling like cheap, nostalgic flourishes. In a world where nostalgia seems to be affecting most major films and TV shows that are released nowadays, Stranger Things felt fresh because it managed to take place in a time that feels so familiar to consumers nowadays, while still telling an engaging and original story of its own.
There's no word yet on how exactly the second season will pick up from the first, or if Astin and Reiser's characters will connect back to the events that took place during it in any way. The Duffer Brothers have been careful to not reveal much about the new additions to the series, so it will be interesting then to see if their characters have any knowledge of the Upside Down or what the Byers' family have been through. But these are just some of the many big questions that have yet to be answered about the second season, which has more anticipation surrounding it than maybe any other season of television set to be released this year.
Season 2 of Stranger Things will be released on Netflix later in 2017.