Note: this post contains SPOILERS for Stranger Things. Proceed at your own risk.
Raise your hands if you’re having a Stranger Things withdrawal.
If you’re still wiping off your tears over Bob’s demise, having mixed emotions about that episode, or just obsessing over Hopper’s dad bod dancing, chances are, you’re still not over one of the best shows of the year.
Like many others, you’re probably as excited for Season 3 as the whole world is. Although there hasn’t been an official plotline (give the Duffers a break, season 2 just aired), a lot of news and fan theories have been popping up lately. Here are the best ones.
Just last month, Netflix officially confirmed that they were renewing the show for a third season. It should come as no surprise since Stranger Things is one of the streaming network’s top-rated contents. Additionally, the Duffer brothers did hint that they were planning to wrap up the show after a fourth or fifth season.
As for the exact date, well, that remains a mystery for now. In an interview with Variety, David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in the series, mentioned that it might take them so long to release Stranger Things 3.
“I mean, one of the things that’s annoying for fans is that it takes us a long time to do them,” David Harbour told Variety. “Like, you probably won’t get [Season 3] until sometime in 2019. But also part of the thing is, like any good thing, they need time. And those guys work so hard. I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day.”
For the sake of great storytelling and compelling scenes, let them take all the time they need!
Like season 1, the second season of Stranger Things brought more questions than answers. For instance, there’s the ominous threat of the Upside Down, Eleven’s other telekinetic sibling, and the question on everyone’s mind: What happened to the Demodog in Joyce Byer’s fridge?
Despite the cliffhangers, Ross Duffer did assure that the show is looking to extend past the quiet town of Hawkins. This is an idea that had already been explored in the second season, particularly the ever-divisive episode 7, “The Lost Sister.” In this stand-alone episode, Eleven branches out of Hawkins to find her telekinetic sister Kali, aka Eight. It managed to receive mixed reviews from critics and audience but nonetheless served as a stepping stone for what is about to happen.
As for the Upside Down, the alternate universe will continue to be a central part of the show. The final scene did suggest that the Mind Flayer is pretty much alive and it’s out to get Eleven.
”They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now it knows that she’s out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note,” Ross Duffer said.
Another interesting theory was also suggested by David Harbour in his interview with the The Insider. After being asked about whether Sara Hopper did die at Hawkins Lab due to similarities in the flashback scenes of the late character in season 1 and the hospital scenes in season 2, Harbour responded, “It is the same location. So that’s interesting. Or it’s a similar location.”
Eleven’s Papa (Matthew Modine) could be making a comeback too. It was established in season 2 that Martin Brenner was very much alive and unsurprisingly up to no good.
Finally, if there was one character that the audience would love to see again, it had to be jock-turned-soccer-mom Steve Harrington. Joe Keery, who plays Steve on the show, is already looking forward to his character’s return. Speaking to Mashable, Keery said he’s hoping to see Steve work with Officer Hopper in a buddy-cop movie type of plot. Until then, he’ll always be the king of memes.
Season 2 of Stranger Things took place a year after the events of season 1. That said, producer Shawn Levy confirmed with the Collider that season 3 is likely to follow the same pattern, meaning it will be set in 1985.
Other than the time jump, the Duffer Brothers said that the kids will be dealing with more coming-of-age drama in the new episodes.
“Even if we didn’t want to deal with [puberty], we have to deal with it because our real-life actors are going through it. I think that’s exciting because it forces the show to evolve and become something different every year,” they told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s going to test their friendships. Obviously, like Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are together, but really, when you’re that age, how long do relationships last? They usually last about two weeks if you’re lucky. I think that’s going to be fun to explore.”
The Duffer Brothers have maintained a four-season plan for Stranger Things. But they could be extending for a fifth season, if there turns out to be more stories to cover.
Rumors of a spin-off show have been plaguing Stranger Things for a while too. “The Lost Sister” was thought to be a backdoor episode for a spin-off series featuring Kali and the other telekinetic experiments of Hawkins Lab.
This rumor, however, has been shut down by actress Linnea Berthelsen who plays Kali on the show. Speaking to NMe, she said, “I don’t think so. I love the rest of the gang, I think it would be so much fun to see more of them, but I honestly don’t think so.”
When the show started out, a majority of the cast members were Hollywood newcomers. Now that they’re big stars, new projects have been lined up for the young performers.
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, already has a Hollywood blockbuster in the works. Brown just finished filming for Godzilla: King of Monsters where she’ll be taking on a lead role. Another rumored film in the works for Brown is the Narnia reboot. Several outlets have said that producers are eyeing the British actress to play the role of Jill Pole, the main character of the beloved children’s books.
Another star on the rise is Finn Wolfhard, who plays Eleven’s love interest, Mike Wheeler. Wolfhard is fresh off the success of It: Chapter 1 and has signed on to do the sequel. He also has two feature films in the works and a budding music career with his band, Calipurnia.
Other cast members that have huge projects on the pipeline is Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), who’ll be starring in The New Mutants, and David Harbour, who is set to play the character of Hellboy in the upcoming reboot.
Will these schedule conflicts force these actors’ characters to leave the Stranger Things universe for good? Well, there aren’t any answers for now, but according to fan theories online, Heaton’s and Wolfhard’s characters could end up biting the dust in the seasons to come.
Some unexpected fan favorites could be getting top billing soon too. Ericah, Lucas’s sister, was played fantastically by child actress Priah Ferguson. The Duffer brothers confirmed that the feisty young girl will certainly be back for the next season.
“I love Erica,” Matt Duffer told Yahoo. “Erica wasn’t even supposed to be in [Season 2] as much as she was. We fell in love with this girl.”
Ross echoed this statement. “There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” he shared. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”
Atlanta Filming, a Twitter account for all the latest productions filming in the area, confirmed that Stranger Things 3 will begin production soon. In fact, it was reported that Finn Wolfhard had already begun shooting his scenes to fit the schedule of his other commitments.
Other than this, the producers have remained tight-lipped on other plans for season 3. The only thing that is sure right now is that the writers have begun with the early stages of the script. Matt Duffer told E! News, “I’m scared if I say anything because even this early on things change so dramatically. We know where we want to go, but we’re trying to figure out still how long it will take to get there.”