Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy says that contrary to rumor there is no plan to end the wildly popular Netflix series after season 3. With season 2 set to get underway soon, speculation has been swirling about the future of the series and how it will adapt as its cast of young actors inevitably grow up and out of their adorable early-teen selves. Season 3 has already been confirmed but anything beyond that is still officially up in the air (including the fate of the show's breakout character Eleven, played by budding movie star Millie Bobby Brown).
Stranger Things season 1 captivated audiences with its mix of rather shameless nostalgia-mining, centered around the supernatural goings-on in a small Spielbergian Indiana town in the 1980s, and legitimate character drama embedded within genre convention. The real magic of the series came from its cast of young actors, whose chemistry helped the show transcend its dependence on pop culture reference to become something that stood on its own two feet. Season 2 promises to be crazier and darker, while continuing to hit those nostalgia buttons that helped lay the groundwork for season 1.
Speaking to Forbes, executive producer Shawn Levy talked about plans for Stranger Things to continue beyond season 3 and grow and change along with its cast of young actors:
"There is no plan to stop Stranger Things after three seasons. That rumor is false. I will say right now we have a vision and arc for this story longer than three seasons. Additionally, we aren't fighting the fact that our kids are getting older, we're adjusting our storytelling so that we don't infantilize them. There was definitely something magic about these kids in season one. They're still singular performers even as they get older and their innocence is replaced by more complicated new forms of their identity so we're not going to try to handcuff them to the kids they were in season one. We're going to try and grow with them, we're going to write to their growth the way Game of Thrones has with Arya and Sansa."
In another interview, the show's creators The Duffer Brothers indicated that their plan is to do four seasons and then get out. This gibes with Levy's statement that an arc has been mapped out that would at least carry the show through season 4, and it seems all involved have some definite end-point for the story in mind. Of course, plans can always be changed if the people providing the money decide they would like more seasons and are willing to pay to make that happen.
By Levy's comments it seems part of the plan is to incorporate the inevitable aging of the show's young cast into the storyline, meaning we should expect a certain amount of time to pass with each new season. Not only will this allow the characters to grow up along with the actors playing them (hopefully avoiding any awkwardness like we see with shows like The Walking Dead, which has had a difficult time finessing actor Chandler Riggs' progression through adolescence), it also gives the writers a chance to delve into new pop culture territory as the show's timeline moves through the '80s and on toward the '90s.
Though leaving the show open-ended and thus allowing for the possibility of Stranger Things to follow its characters all the way through high school and into college, and onto even more crazy adventures in decades beyond the '80s, it's arguably wiser to set a definite end-point for the story. It's also possible that when season 4 has come-and-gone the show could be perpetuated with a different cast, location and storyline, though by their comments it seems the Duffer Brothers would not themselves be interested in going this route.
Stranger Things season 2 premieres October 27th on Netflix.