Everything we know so far about Stranger Things season 5

Stranger Things season 5 starts filming in January 2024

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) David Harbour as Jim Hopper and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) David Harbour as Jim Hopper and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /
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After months and months of waiting, we finally know when Stranger Things season 5 is starting production. According to a report from Deadline, the cast and crew will start filming season 5 on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, or Monday, Jan. 8. The report also confirms that the cast is already in Atlanta prepping to start production and preparing for the table reads of the season 5 episodes. And, there's a huge rumor we need to talk about, too!

This timeline differs slightly from what we heard immediately after the actors' strike ended. Less than one week after Deadline confirmed that Stranger Things season 5 is gearing up to start production, David Harbour revealed that the final season features a “real ending” and that the series “will end in a very real way." That was back in November.

Around that time, Harbour also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter from the Box Lunch Holiday Gala and had even more to say about the final season’s story, his thoughts on the series, ending, and more.

"I feel like a horse getting ready and the gates are about to open, there’s all of this drive and all this passion to do it,” he continued. “We have a while to shoot and to edit but we’re going to work as hard and as fast as we possibly can to get it to people because I know they love the show as much as we do and I can’t wait for them to see what’s up next, it’s really exciting stuff. The scripts are great."

In more good news, Matt and Ross Duffer are finally speaking about Stranger Things season 5 for the first time, basically, since the fourth season ended. In an interview with The Guardian ahead of the premiere of the Stranger Things stageplay, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, the Duffers revealed some very interesting details about the season and potential spinoffs coming soon.

Here's what Matt Duffer told The Guardian:

"This season – it’s like season one on steroids,” says Matt. “It’s the biggest it’s ever been in terms of scale, but it has been really fun, because everyone’s back together in Hawkins: the boys and Eleven interacting more in line with how it was in season one. And, yes, there may be spin-offs, but the story of Eleven and Dustin and Lucas and Hopper, their stories are done here. That’s it…"

Of course, this is all possible because the actors’ strike is over, as of Wednesday, Nov. 8. The studios and actors’ union agreed to a new deal, clearing the way for many shows and movies to begin production immediately. We were hoping that filming would begin sometime later this year, but early 2024 sounds great! The writers' room got back together after the writers’ strike ended in late September.

It’s been an absolutely massive end of the year for Stranger Things fans! It all started as Netflix kicked off Geeked Week 2023 with Stranger Things Day on Monday, Nov. 6. We saw a sneak peek at the Stranger Things season 5 premiere script, which we already know is titled “The Crawl,” thanks to a Stranger Things Day 2022 reveal.

After months of bad news, we finally have a lot of good news about Stranger Things season 5. To recap, the writers have been working since Sept. 27, the actors are going back to work soon, and we have a teaser from the season premiere script to share. While on the press tour for All the Light We Cannot See, Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy shared a filming update on season 5. With the strikes ending, Variety confirmed Stranger Things season 5 is one of Netflix’s priorities, along with Wednesday season 2.

Now, let’s talk about when Stranger Things season 5 is coming to Netflix.


Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Is there Stranger Things season 5 release date yet?

As of December 2023, Netflix has not announced the Stranger Things season 5 release date. There are lots of fake release dates online, so don’t get tricked! So, let’s get into what we do know about when we can expect the final installment.

With production starting officially in early January 2024, there's a good chance that production will end by the year. Does that mean we'll see Stranger Things season 5 in 2024? No, there's basically no chance that will happen. David Harbour revealed, before the strikes, that Stranger Things season 5 will film for a year.

Harbour also told The Hollywood Reporter that Stranger Things season 5 will take about a year to film. Obviously, that’s tough news for fans, and we’ll explain why. Here’s Harbour’s full quote from Harbour:

"There will be a little bit of a push difference, but Stranger Things 5 will shoot for a year. So Thunderbolts will have to live somewhere within that, but the whole thing is crazy speculation at this point."

The Duffers told Variety in May 2022 that the gap between season 4 and season 5 shouldn’t be as long as the gap between season 3 and season 4:

"Don’t hold us to it, but the gap should be quite a bit shorter this time, due to the fact that we already have an initial outline, and we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus."

But of course, they said that before the writers’ and actors’ strikes began.

Thanks to the stars of the show, we figured out when filming was supposed to start. The writers had been hard at work on season 5 since about a month after the release of season 4 part 2. Several actors, including Noah Schnapp and David Harbour, confirmed they had scripts for Stranger Things season 5 around the time that production was delayed.

Now that the actors and writers are back at work, we have a much clearer picture of when Stranger Things season 5 will come to Netflix. If production actually starts in January and it takes about a year, as Harbour mentioned, production will likely wrap sometime in the fall or late 2024. Unfortunately, with that timeline, it’s looking likely that we won’t be getting Stranger Things season 5 until sometime in 2025. Trust us, it hurts us, too!

There’s just no way to turn the season around for release on Netflix before the year ends. So, right now, it’s almost guaranteed Stranger Things season 5 is coming to Netflix in 2025 at the very earliest.

What's interesting, though, is that there are rumors that season 5 is a Christmas season. That has not been confirmed by anyone associated with the series. The rumor also claims that there will be a time jump to the winter of 1987, which is quite a big jump from where we leave these characters. It's possible we could see a Christmas season, but there's no way we'll see that season in the winter of 2024.

We’ve seen three seasons of Stranger Things released in July, basically. Season 2 and the first half of season 4 were the only episodes not released during the month of July. And, that seems to be a really good time to release this summer blockbuster series. We’re predicting season 5 will be released in July 2025. And, you're probably going to see season 5 split into two parts.

Release Prediction: Summer 2025

Netflix officially renewed the series for a fifth season, sharing a letter from the Duffer Brothers on social media. In the letter, the duo shared the exciting news about the Stranger Things season 4 release date but also revealed the show is coming to an end. Check out the photo below.

Stranger Things
Stranger Things season 4 letter / Netflix /

David Harbour told Discussing Film that he knows it is time for Stranger Things to end.

"What’s funny is when I started the show, I never ever wanted it to end. That’s why I love the show. I think it’s a great show, even if I wasn’t in it. Now we’re almost nine years from filming the first season, and I think it is time for it to end. But it is, of course, very bittersweet. You know, there’s a sadness there. But also, we’ve all grown up. It is time for us to leave that nest and try other things and different projects. And to let the Duffer Brothers try different things as well. I mean, those guys are so talented. I want to see what they come up with next. So it is bittersweet, but it’s definitely time."

Stranger Things fans might not agree, but that’s what is happening.

Recently, Joe Keery shared his feelings on Stranger Things season 5 being the final season of the series in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. The interview took place before the SAG strike started in July 2023.

Here’s what he told WWD:

"It does feel like it’s time. It won’t be easy for it to end. I mean, I owe my whole career to being on that show and all the opportunities that I had since are because of that show. So it’s very convoluted. There’s a sense of relief, there’s a sense of sadness. I guess my goal is to just really soak it up as much as I can while we’re doing it, and not take any of it for granted because it’s been an amazing ride with such great people. And then once it’s done, move forward and try to just hold on to the joy that we had when we were making it….Everything has a beginning and the middle and an end. It’ll be nice to have the end of this too."


Best Netflix shows - Stranger Things season 5 cast:
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Plot

We have to imagine the plot of Stranger Things season 5 will revolve around the giant hole that was created in the center of Hawkins that is definitely linked to the Upside Down. The Duffers have already revealed that will be a big focus of the season.

Variety released an interview with Matt and Ross Duffers ahead of the Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 release, where they gave multiple plot teases about season 5. At this point in time, they do not know whether or not season 5 will be split into two parts like season 4 was, but they are aware of a few major plot points that will be explored.

For one, the Duffers say we will finally learn about the origins of the Upside Down come Stranger Things season 5, with them explaining:

"The only thing we don’t delve into in [season 4] volume 2 is Upside Down lore. We hint at it. I’m sure someone on Reddit will be able to maybe piece it together, but a lot of those answers for the Upside Down or that is really what the basis of season 5 is about."

So we can expect the history of the Upside Down and all of its mysterious lore to be the main plot of season 5. I love it! Additionally, the creators revealed we will get answers in season 5 as to why the Upside Down is frozen in time on the date that Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) went missing. We find this out in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1, but it’s not explained.

In addition, Will is set to be a focal point of season 5. In an interview with Collider, here’s what Matt Duffer had to say:

"Will’s going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of Season 5, in his journey. We’re starting to see his coming of age, really. Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you’re starting to see him come into his own."

On Twitter, the writers revealed that the new season will be like “if season 1 and season 4 had a baby. And that baby was injected with steroids.” Of course, just that short tweet got fans excited!

Harbour also joined the Happy Sad Confused Podcast and shared when the season begins, according to Variety.

"After where Season 4 ended — when you watch us on that hill looking at the ash and the smoke fires — we’re going to start somewhere after that. So you’ve gotta imagine the world is a different place."

There are so many unanswered questions about season 5, and it all feels like we’ve been building to this moment for so long. We have to assume that Vecna still has a major role to play in Stranger Things season 5, although he was vanquished by Nancy, Eleven, and the gang in the fourth season.

Deadline also reported on the news from Motor City Comic Con, where Harbour answered questions from fans on Sunday, Nov. 12. Harbour was asked if season 6 was happening, but Harbour confirmed season 5 is the last season. He also added that “the storyline where we started in the lab and the Upside Down is a complete story.” He also confirmed that Netflix will likely do spinoffs, but as these characters are concerned, this is the end of the story. That should be incredibly refreshing for fans of the series given what’s been speculated about potential sequels. I think we’re all just ready to see how this story ends, although it’ll be a sad day when we won’t see these great characters again.

And, what about our guy, Steve Harrington? While Steve has had many near-death experiences over the course of four seasons of Stranger Things, no, Steve does not die in Stranger Things. Not yet, anyway!

Somehow, he survives the events of Stranger Things season 4 even while many fans thought the season was setting up to kill off Steve Harrington.

Heading into Stranger Things season 5, there’s no reason to think that Steve is in any more danger than any other character. We obviously don’t imagine that all the important characters will survive the final season, but we’re hopeful Steve will be around, kicking, and looking for love when the Upside Down dust settles in season 5.


Stranger Things season 5 - Stranger Things season 5 - Netflix shows
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Cast

We know most of the Stranger Things season 5 cast, and many have confirmed they will return for the fifth season. We shared the cast below:

  • Milly Bobby Brown as Eleven
  • David Harbour as Jim Hopper
  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harrington
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
  • Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
  • Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
  • Eduardo Franco as Argyle
  • Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna
  • Paul Reiser as Dr. Sam Owens
  • Linda Hamilton in an undisclosed role

Throughout each season of the Netflix Original, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic new characters, including Max (Sadie Sink), Bob (Sean Astin), Eddie (Joseph Quinn), and more. Of course, we’ve also met a few new villains, like Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower), too. But what about in Stranger Things season 5? Well, we know of one new cast addition.

To our surprise, Netflix announced on June 17 that iconic actress Linda Hamilton will appear in the fifth season! That’s awesome. Hamilton is best known for playing Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies. I love that Stranger Things keep casting actors who rose to fame in movies from the ’70s and the ’80s. We don’t know who Hamilton will be playing but we’re excited to find out!

While we wait for Stranger Things season 5 to begin production, we got exciting news regarding one of the directors. Netflix confirmed that Dan Trachtenberg, best known for helming the movies 10 Cloverfield Lane and Prey, will serve as a director for one episode in season 5. In addition to his critically-acclaimed movies mentioned, he’s also directed an episode of Black Mirror and the pilot of The Boys.

Needless to say, Trachtenberg has experience in the business and has directed really great movies and episodes. We’re in good hands with him, we promise!

In June 2023, the Stranger Things writers’ Twitter account had to shoot down a major rumor when word spread that Jodie Foster was supposedly joining the cast of season 5. The report came from the site Giant Freakin Robot, who has since deleted their tweet. The show’s writers caught the rumor and responded to the site directly, writing back, “no she’s not.”

The account didn’t stop there, however, as they also urged the site to stop sharing inaccurate information and actually confirm rumors with their sources before publishing them onto the internet.

Foster is, of course, an incredibly talented and seasoned actor who’s been impressing moviegoers since the late ‘60s. She’d be an awesome addition to the Stranger Things season 5 cast, but that just won’t be the case. However, we will be seeing her on our Netflix screens at some point in the future with her upcoming movie Nyad alongside Annette Bening, so at least there’s that!

Max - Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS. Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

The finale of Stranger Things season 4 shocked us all by killing off Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) and then soon bringing her back. At the end of the episode, she’s in the hospital in a coma. They don’t know when or if she will come back. The Duffers did confirm to Deadline that at the end of season 4 she is alive, but “brain dead, blind, and all of her bones are broken.” So unless something big happens between seasons, we’re assuming Max might still be in a coma when season 5 starts.

As for what Sadie Sink thinks, she doesn’t know what will happen for Max in season 5, but she told Vulture: “I think she’s at a place where she now really wants to fight.” At this time, we don’t know if Max will make it in the end, but we predict she will.

Eddie Munson - Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS. Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

A real death we have to deal with in Stranger Things season 4 is when Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) sacrifices himself to save the rest of the group while distracting the Demobats. The character is introduced in season 4 and instantly became a fan-favorite with viewers. People are now obsessed with Joseph Quinn (even Doja Cat!) and want him to return somehow in the final season.

At this time, it has not been confirmed by the Duffers whether or not Eddie could return in some capacity, but Quinn would love to come back if he was asked. While speaking to E! News, he said of the possibility:

"Me and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) were discussing ways in which I could kind of [return] …maybe I’d be like a figment of Gaten’s imagination or something, like if there could be some kind of room for something like that, something a bit supernatural."

There’s a popular theory going around that Eddie could come back as a vampire, with Dungeons & Dragons lore to back it up. Honestly, I’d think that’d be pretty cool. But could the Duffers fit that storyline in with everything else going on? We’ll have to wait and see.

Unfortunately, at Comic-Con in Abu Dhabi, Quinn also spoke about his involvement in Stranger Things season 5. According to Winter Is Coming, Quinn told the crowd, “I think it’s probably unlikely. That’s my honest answer.”

Yikes. That doesn’t sound good for a possible Eddie Munson appearance. There is a chance, obviously, that we could see a cameo appearance via flashback or memory or something like that, but that might happen way down the line. And, we know Quinn wouldn’t ruin that possibility by announcing it at a convention.


Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS (L to R) Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Time jump

Another thing we know about Stranger Things season 5 already is that it will likely feature a significant time jump. While speaking to TV Line, the Duffers explained that they had hoped they could have filmed seasons 4 and 5 back to back, but that wasn’t the case, explaining that there was “no feasible way to do that.”

One reason for a time jump could be because the child actors of Stranger Things are no longer children and it might be difficult to make them look like they’re still in high school. We’ll be sure to update you once we know for sure what this potential time jump in season 5 will look like.

The only rumors we've heard about the time jump are that it will move the story to winter 1987, but again, this has not been confirmed.

Stranger Things season 4 introduced new locations as we get to see Jim Hopper (David Harbour) living out in Russia as a prisoner, while Joyce (Winona Ryder), Will, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are getting used to their new home in Lenora Hills, California.

According to the Duffers, season 5 will see the main characters together again in Hawkins, Indiana, meaning the majority — if not all — of the upcoming season will take place where it all began. Oh, and you know we’re going back to the Upside Down. For sure, for sure.

There’s also been a lot of chatter about using de-aging effects to age down the cast of Stranger Things. Levy confirmed that would not happen.


Family Video - Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Episode count

Stranger Things season 5 will be eight episodes. The Stranger Things Writers account posted a picture of the storyboard they were using to outline season 5. It only consists of eight episodes, although we can’t see the full board. At this point, it looks like there’s going to be eight episodes.

A huge part of Stranger Things season 4 that people couldn’t stop talking about was the episode lengths. We basically got movies for each episode, and the finale runs at a whopping two hours and 19 minutes long. Hey, I’m not complaining! The more Stranger Things the better. But what about for season 5? The Duffers have already started discussing the episode lengths.

According to the show’s creators, the episodes in season 5 are not expected to be as long as the ones in season 4. However, the Stranger Things season 5 finale will clock in at over two hours. “We’re more likely to do what we did [with the season 4 finale], which is to just have a 2.5-hour episode,” Matt Duffer said about the series finale on the Happy Sad Confused.


Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS. Vecna Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Episode 1 title and first scene

During Stranger Things Day on Nov. 6, 2022, Netflix officially shared the episode title for the season 5 premiere. Though fans were hoping for more news on the special day, we’ll take it! Stranger Things season 5 episode 1 will be titled “The Crawl.” Of course, people have been speculating what it means, with many hoping it could be a hint at Eddie’s return. We’ll have to wait and see.

We still don’t know the names of the other seven episodes of Stranger Things season 5, but we do know the first scene of Stranger Things season 5.

On Stranger Things Day 2023, the Stranger Things writers released the first scene of the new season.


Stranger Things season 5
STRANGER THINGS (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Spin-offs

Even though Stranger Things is ending with season 5, that most likely won’t be the end of this universe. In the season 4 release date and season 5 renewal letter from the Duffer Brothers which you can see above, the creators also tease that, “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.” Of course, this signals that spinoffs are coming. And we even got some details about one earlier this year.

In May 2022, the Duffers teased one spinoff idea they have, noting that only Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard knows what it’s about. They told Variety:

"We do have an idea for a spinoff that we’re super excited about … but we haven’t told anyone the idea yet, much less written it. We think everyone, including Netflix, will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it’s very, very different. But somehow Finn Wolfhard, who is one crazy smart kid, correctly guessed what it was going to be about. But aside from Finn, no one else knows!"

There are so many different avenues the Duffers could take with a Stranger Things spinoff, and fans already have their theories. Famed horror writer Stephen King says they should do a spinoff all about Yuri (Nikola Đuričko), the Russian smuggler who we’re introduced to in season 4 volume 1. We’ll have to wait and see what the showrunners choose to explore next.

While being interviewed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Duffers revealed the spinoff will not focus on Eleven or any of the central characters. The Duffers also confirmed that bit of information in the interview with The Guardian.

We know at least one of the spinoff ideas is happening! In April, Netflix confirmed an animated Stranger Things spinoff is in the works. Oh, and there's also the Stranger Things play, which premieres in London on Dec. 14.

You know Stranger Things is one of the best Netflix shows right now! When it’s all over, there’s no doubt this will be the biggest and likely best Netflix show to date.

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