Rumor has it Stranger Things creators and showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer are leaving the Netflix TV series after season 3, in order to focus their efforts on other projects.
The Duffer Brothers shot to fame after the surprise smash hit of Stranger Things season 1 on Netflix in 2016. As one of the first universally acclaimed Netflix TV shows, Stranger Things rocketed its cast and creators to universal stardom. By honing in on a strict 1980s aesthetic, they were able to capture a potent sense of nostalgia that is just inherently watchable. Season 2 was bigger and better than the first season (even the controversial episode 7 was, if nothing else, ambitious), raising the stakes in just about every way.
According to Moviefone's source, the Duffers are looking to move on from Stranger Things after the show's third season. Supposedly, their deal with Netflix requires the development of at least two more projects, which is believed to be what's pulling them away from the odd happenings of Hawkins. The site is also hearing that the Duffer Brothers have been taking meetings with Hollywood studio executives about helming another feature-length film. Before their success at Netflix, they wrote and directed a little-seen movie called Hidden, starring Alexander Skarsgård.
UPDATE: Collider is denying Moviefone's report, citing "high-ranking sources" close to the Duffer Brothers that say the pair are "absolutely not" leaving Stranger Things after season 3. An official statement on the matter has yet to be issued by the Duffers, or any of the show's additional producers.
UPDATE #2: Netflix has now officially denied this Stranger Things rumor:
Don't drop your Eggos. Rumors that the Duffer Bros are leaving Stranger Things after season 3 are false. pic.twitter.com/x4kbL9990e— Netflix US (@netflix) February 20, 2018
If this speculation is true, it would mean that the Duffers would not be operating in the same capacity on Stranger Things after season 3 - though they would still oversee the writers' room and maintain their executive producer credits. Fortunately for the show's fans, this wouldn't mean the end of our time in Hawkins, Indiana, if accurate. This would hardly be first time that a show continues following the departure of its creators. J.J. Abrams left Lost and Alias during the middle of their runs, and each of those shows continued to be successful after he stepped away. Stranger Things would presumably retain the same tone and aesthetic in future seasons, even without the Duffers onboard.
The opportunity to see a bigger production helmed by the Duffer Brothers on the big screen seems like too good of a situation to pass up, especially if it's filled with the same kind of ambition that fills the smaller screens on Stranger Things. Either way, we should expect to see more from Hawkins after season three. In the past, the Duffer Brothers have both stated that Stranger Things will last about four or five seasons. So while there is a definite end in sight, it's not likely to be season 3.
Stranger Things season 3 is expected to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2019.