Season 4 of the Netflix original series left Hawkins in impending doom, with Vecna’s mysterious disappearance looming over and fan theories running rampant. Luckily, the wait for answers may end sooner than expected as Stranger Things season 5 brings an official finale to the supernatural drama.
There’s still so much ahead for Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the gang. While we wait for the epic conclusion of the 2022 Emmy-nominated show, here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season 5’s release date, cast, episodes, spoilers, and more:
When is Stranger Things season 5 coming out?
Though there’s no official release date yet or even a Stranger Things season 5 trailer, the Duffer Brothers spilled to Variety that the wait should be much shorter this time around, especially since they already know the premise of the fifth installment.
“We’re going to take a little vacation in July,” Ross Duffer said in an exclusive interview with Collider. “And then we’re going to come back. I know the writer’s room will start in that first week of August.”
In June, Matt Duffer told TVLine that it’s “pretty well mapped out.” He added: “I’m not sure we’re ready to say a start date for shooting yet.” In other words, there’s no confirmation about when Stranger Things will come out, but writing and filming will begin in the next few months.
Is season 5 the last of Stranger Things?
As much as it hurts to say, friends don’t lie. The showrunners confirmed season 5 would be it’s last in a letter to Stranger Things fans as they wrote:
Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourself — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.
How many episodes are in Stranger Things season 5?
Comparing it time-wise to the over three-hour conclusion of Lord of the Rings, the Duffer Brothers revealed season 5 will feature “like, eight endings.”
The final installment means tying up a lot of loose storylines, a thought that occurred to Ross while writing the new season. He told The Wrap: “We knew partway through that we needed to ask Netflix if they would be okay if we did nine episodes instead of eight, and then slowly, as we started shooting them, we realized, ‘Oh, these are mega-long episodes.’“
If you thought season 4, volume 2 was lengthy, buckle up. Stranger Things fans can gear up for “movie-length” episodes seven and nine, with Ross adding: “Nine is a long movie.”
Are there any Stranger Things season 5 spoilers?
One storyline sure to carry over is Will (Noah Schnapp) ‘s a relationship with Mike (Finn Wolfhard). The Stranger Things actor recently reflected on the finale with Variety. “I mean, it’s pretty clear that Will has feelings for Mike this season. They’ve been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons. Even in Season 1, they hinted at that and slowly grew that storyline.”
He added: “I think for Season 4, it was me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he’ll be accepted, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong. Will has always felt like that. All his friends have girlfriends and fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in. I think that’s why so many people come up to me and tell me that they love Will and resonate with him because it’s such a real character.”
Aging out of adolescence and away from the Mind Flayer of it all, Will’s in for a huge journey ahead, “and now he’s scared to come out and doesn’t know if they’ll accept him.” Noah continued, “And Eleven is like his sister, but he doesn’t want to hurt her because if he says he likes Mike, that will hurt her feelings. There are all these things running in his mind. So I must ensure I convey the depth of all his traumas.”
Like their on-screen characters, the real-life actors are growing up. The coronavirus pandemic set back production’s timeline, which presented a major dilemma that the geniuses behind the hit Netflix series have started to think about.
“I’m sure we will do a time jump,” Ross told TVLine. “Ideally, we’d have shot [Seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was no feasible way to do that. So these are all our discussions with our writers when we start the room up.”
Season 5 definitely won’t start like any other season. It will be “pedal to the metal from the opening scene,” he added. Oh, speaking of, expect an emotional conclusion. “We have an outline for season 5, and we pitched it to Netflix, and they responded well to it,” Ross told The Wrap. “I mean, it was hard. It’s the end of the story. I saw executives who I’ve never seen cry before, and it was wild.”
Who will be in the Stranger Things season 5 cast?
Hawkins’ favorite group of misfits reunited at the end of season 4. Though there was some uncertainty surrounding whether Max (Sadie Sink) is dead — RIP Eddie (Joseph Quinn) — the Duffer Brothers confirmed she’s very much alive. Here are all the other returning characters we can expect next season:
- Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven
- Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
- Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
- 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
- Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
- David Harbour as Hopper
- Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
Curious about where this leaves Vecna? When asked how the villain factors into the show’s final season, offscreen actor Jamie Campbell Bower told The Hollywood Reporter, “Let me put it this way: I know about season five. Take from that what you will.” So, it’s not the last we’ll see of his reign in the upside down
How to watch and stream Stranger Things season 5
Catch up on Stranger Things by streaming seasons 1 through 4 exclusively on Netflix. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month. Grab your laptop and watch on the Netflix website. Or, if you prefer to view it on a mobile device, the Netflix app is available on smartphones, smart TVs, and game consoles, among other platforms.