Stranger Things season 3 is shaping up to be the Netflix TV show's "most ambitious season ever", according to producer Shawn Levy. The series, which will debut its third installment sometime next year (possibly in the summer), aims to build upon season 2's "more cinematic" approach, in that respect.
Created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things was quick to became a pop cultural phenomenon after its first season premiered on Netflix in 2016, thanks largely to its nostalgic portrayal of the 1980s and the way it draws inspiration from 1980s science-fiction and horror entertainment, in particular. Season 2 was similarly well-received for its efforts to develop and deepen the show's mythology, thus allowing it to better stand on its own, all '80s nostalgia aside. If Levy is to be believed, the Duffers and their collaborators won't be resting on their laurels either, when they pick up with Stranger Things' characters in 1985 for the third installment.
Levy, who has directed several Stranger Things episodes in addition to producing, told BadTV that he, the Duffers, and the rest of their creative team very much appreciate that Netflix has "allowed us to take our time and develop the third season in depth". However, at the same time, he emphasized that the TV show's crew is working "very quickly" to get season 3 done and that it is "by far the most ambitious season" of the series yet. He then repeated the line and promised that "We are on another level" with Stranger Things' third chapter.
Stranger Things season 2 was certainly more cinematic in style and scope than its predecessor, and Levy further assured BadTV that "this evolution will continue with the third". It will be particularly interesting to see how the series handles the major subplot it introduced in season 2 - that involving Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) "sibling" and fellow telekinetic, Kali aka. Eight (Linnea Berthelsen). Opinion is still divided on whether the Kali-centric episode "The Lost Sister" was the best or worst part of Stranger Things season 2, but it sounds as though season 3 won't shy away from taking similar risks and/or possibly picking up Kali's story thread in a big way.
As for the references in season 3, Levy said "the ghost of John Carpenter and other 80s horror directors" will hang heavy over Stranger Things' next batch of episodes. The show has already draw inspiration from Carpenter's The Thing specifically (and even explicitly referenced the film multiple times in season 1), but Levy's tease could point to Carpenter horror films like Halloween, The Fog, and maybe even They Live having a similar impact on season 3. Suffice it to say, as the show continues to explore the Upside-Down and the creatures that reside there, Hawkins, Indiana is going become an even scarier and more dangerous place to live.
Stranger Things season 3 premieres on Netflix sometime in 2019.