2016 saw Netflix make leaps and bounds at improving its reputation as a producer of quality, original, small screen storytelling. The streaming service's surprise hit TV series success of the year was easily that of Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers-created series that takes place in the early 1980s and draws heavy inspiration from the various popular sci-fi, horror and coming of age films that were released around that same time period. Suffice it to say, when Stranger Things was officially renewed for a second season just a few weeks after its premiere (though the Duffer Brothers later admitted the show had been renewed even earlier), it came as little surprise.
Stranger Things season 2 picks up a year or so after the events of season 1, in the year 1984. Given how important '80s pop culture is to not only the show's characters but the Netflix series itself, there's something more than a little appropriate about the fact that the first image from Stranger Things season 2 features a number of the show's main characters dressed up as the stars of the 1984 sci-fi/horror/comedy hit, Ghostbusters.
EW has the exclusive on said Stranger Things season 2 image - which, as you can see below, features Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), dressed up and ready to bust some ghosts. It turns out this photo is actually a screenshot from the new Stranger Things season 2 teaser (the first such preview for season 2) that will be airing during the Super Bowl LI game, this weekend.
Shawn Levy, an executive producer on Stranger Things who also directed a handful of season 1 episodes, offered EW a simple, yet intriguing tease of what to expect when the TV show returns for its second season - namely, that "The demogorgon was destroyed but evil wasn’t.” Those who watched Stranger Things season 1 no doubt remember that the last scene in the season's final episode included Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) vomiting up a slug into his bathroom sink; showing that although Will was no longer trapped in the Upside-Down, he has been permanently changed by his experience in mysterious and unsettling ways.
Whether that means Will is now a force of "evil" himself remains to be seen, but he's not the only character returning from Stranger Things season 1 who will be truly "different" in season 2. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is also confirmed to be coming back, following her battle with the demogorgon that ended with both said Upside-Down "resident" and Eleven seemingly being eviscerated. Clearly, that's not what actually happened, but we won't know until season 2 hits if Eleven is now more in-control of her powers or, alternatively, has become more wild and dangerous because of what took place.
It's safe to assume that the Stranger Things season 2 Super Bowl LI preview will be very much a teaser and only hint at the answers to (some of) the questions that fans have, following the conclusion to season 1. Either way, this is an exciting development for fans of the show - especially seeing as we're still several months out from our return trip to Hawkins, Indiana yet.
Stranger Things season 2 premiere on Netflix this summer.