• Martin Ballard

Stranger Things 4 - What we know so far!

So we now know a little more about Stranger Things season 4 than we did yesterday. We have got some glimpses at characters. And a new teaser just introduced a new house to the Stranger Things landscape, a house with a very haunted feel to it... a cross between Goonies, IT, Bate's Motel and in a twist at the end of the trailer The Shining.

The big news comes from a new teaser Netflix dropped that shows off Eleven’s new haircut, gives us Hopper with a flamethrower and a little more. Most importantly, it confirms the release window we all already pretty much knew.

Photo Credit: Netflix

Still, while Stranger Things season 4 might not be coming soon, there are plenty of reasons to stay excited for the return of the series. Not least some leaked set photos, such as the ones showing something big happening at Hawkins High School. Stranger Things season 4 will take place (in part) far from Hawkins, Indiana.

So, what changes are in store for Eleven, Dustin, Will, Steve and the rest of the folks who survived last year’s mall massacre?

Well when we last saw the heroes, they had successfully fended off another onslaught of mind-controlling inter-dimensional demons and a Russian invasion of their quaint suburban mall. With David Harbour's police chief Hopper presumed dead, the Byers family – Winona Ryder's Joyce along with Schnapp's Will and Charlie Heaton's Jonathan – moved to another town, separating the core group.

In a post-credit stinger, it was revealed that the Russians had taken an ‘American’ with them when they fled Hawkins following the destruction of their secret research facility. That’s been confirmed to mean Hopper, though some have speculated it’s also in reference to Mathew Modine’s Dr. Brenner, who was never seen in the aftermath of season 1’s Demogorgon attack. Either way, we could be getting some sort of Great Escape action.

Meanwhile, the latest teaser threw in some serious Shining vibes by flashing back to the story of the Creel family, whose patriarch seems to have gone full Jack Torrence on his little girls decades ago. In the same teaser, the core cast is shown exploring the dilapidated Creel house like a gaggle of Scooby-Doo extras, with Mike sporting a fantastic Kid ’n Play hairdo and Dustin doing his best Sherlock Holmes impression. All signs point to the Upside Down taking on a sinister influence akin to the Overlook Hotel.

Photo Credit: Netflix

In addition, Brown’s Eleven will very likely continue her quest to discover her past. Eagle-eyed fans spotted an X-Men reference in the show’s materials, with one character leading a group of teen nerds called ‘The Hellfire Club,’ in homage to a villainous cabal from comic lore. Some have taken that as a sign that Eleven could become a more destructive force akin to X-Men’s tragic Jean Grey (AKA Dark Phoenix), though it could just be one of the various easter eggs and nods the show is known for.

So who are we going to see that's new to Season 4? Anne with an E star Amybeth McNulty has signed on as fast-talking band-nerd Vickie; Myles Truitt of Kin is on board as a Hawkins basketball star caught up in the horrors bubbling underneath the town; Regina Ting Chen will play a guidance counselor; and Grace Van Dien – daughter of actor Casper – will show up as a popular cheerleader harboring a dark secret.

The group joins previously announced Robert '1,2 Freddie's coming for you' Englund, who will play Victor Creel, now elderly and imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital. The presence of the 'Springwood Slasher' icon continues a Stranger Things’ tradition of dipping into its inspirations to fill out its cast: Season 2 notably included Sean Astin, who starred as the main character in The Goonies, which itself heavily influenced Stranger Things.

So when can we expect a release? Well, production has had more knock backs the boys who live on Billie Eilish's estate, but we're almost there now - David Habour said earlier this year he expected filming completed by the end of August 2021 and we've since seen some wrapping up tweets flying around. We're told it will be out early 2022 - possibly as late as April, but to those of us who think that's ages away don't forget we've got Spiderman: No Way Home to look forward to first and Cobra Kai Season 4 that hits us on NYE 2021!

Photo Credit: Netflix

Sit tight and enjoy the ride!

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