stranger things Creators Matt and Ross Duffer have expanded on what fans can expect from the fifth and final season of their ’80s Netflix phenomenon.
The twin filmmakers were asked during a panel Sunday night at the streamer’s Tudum Theater in Los Angeles if there were any new ’80s pop culture influences that would shape the final season, the way freddie and its villainous Freddy Kreuger shaped Season 4 into two parts this summer.
“[Season] 5, from our perspective, is kind of the culmination of all the seasons, so there’s a bit of each,” Ross Duffer said to a packed house. “I think what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in the tone of 1. But also in terms of scale, it’s more in line with what 4 is. So, I hope there is a bit of everything.
A key factor that sets Season 5 apart from the rest, according to Matt Duffer, is that the danger the world finds itself in is now “fully open” – not just for our teenage heroes in the town of Hawkins, Indiana, but for their parents and the rest of their community as well.
stranger things, for the uninitiated, is a sci-fi drama that follows a group of Midwestern teenagers as they battle supernatural forces tied to an alternate reality known as The Upside Down. The show’s final season picks up months after the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Grappling with the consequences, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made it any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a horrifying new supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, could finally bring an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
The Duffers were joined for tonight’s panel – hosted by Patton Oswalt – by director-EP Shawn Levy, as well as longtime cast members Caleb McLaughlin, Priah Ferguson and Millie Bobby Brown – with the latter, sounding virtually. Others appearing in person included popular Season 4 additions Joseph Quinn, Eduardo Franco and Jamie Campbell Bower.
While the conversation was short on the main takeaways from Season 5, Ross Duffer confirmed that the writing team had “moved on to the second” episode, having handed the first script over to Netflix “a few weeks ago. “. (The title of the Season 5 opener is “Chapter One: The Crawl,” Netflix revealed last week.)
Ross shared that the team is “full steam ahead” with the writing process, having first “developed an overall plan and backstory” for Upside Down in Season 2. He added that while some While questions surrounding this fantasy arena were answered in Season 4, there will still be “quite a lot” to unravel in the series’ final year. “But just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters now, most of whom are still alive,” Duffer continued. “It’s important to wrap up these arcs because a lot of these characters have grown since Season 1, so it’s a balance between giving them time to complete their character arcs, and also sorting out those details and making our final revelation.”
Levy felt, in closing, that the balance the Duffers seek is the one they manage to achieve. “I’m paralyzed with the fear of messing up anything, but I will say the thing about these Duffer brothers is that even though the show has become so famous and the characters have become so iconic, and they’re so about the 80s and the supernatural and the genre, it’s about those people. It’s about those characters,” he said. “Season 5 already deals with those stories so clearly of characters, because that has always been the cornerstone of stranger things.”
stranger things garnered 13 Emmy nominations for its fourth season, with wins in prosthetic makeup, sound editing, sound mixing, music supervision, and stunt coordination. The Monkey Massacre Productions and 21 Laps Entertainment-produced show was renewed for its fifth and final season in February, but it’s not yet clear when that final chapter will debut on Netflix. Levy exec produced alongside Dan Cohen for 21 rounds, as well as the Duffers, Iain Paterson and Curtis Gwinn.
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