'Stranger Things' season 5 is coming. Here's everything the Duffer brothers have said about the final season of the Netflix hit.

'Stranger Things' season 5 is coming. Here's everything the Duffer brothers have said about the final season of the Netflix hit.
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  • "Stranger Things" season five will be the hit Netflix series' last.

  • The Duffer brothers have teased information about the final season since season four was released in 2022.

  • In January 2024, Netflix announced that production had officially begun on season five.

Since premiering in 2016, "Stranger Things" has gone on to become one of Netflix's most popular series of all time.

The supernatural drama, set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, is now headed into its fifth and final season. Its stellar young cast, long one of the show's biggest strengths, are now adults. Leading actor Millie Bobby Brown's breakout role as Eleven has led to her becoming a star in her own right, producing films like "Enola Holmes" and pursuing other projects outside of the "Stranger Things" umbrella.

Netflix announced in February 2022 that the show's fifth season would be its last, bringing a conclusion to the story of Eleven, Hawkins, and the Upside Down. And while there are plenty of "Stranger Things" spinoff projects in the pipeline (and other shows to catch up on in the meantime), it's hard not to be excited about what's sure to be an epic ending.

Here's everything that the Duffer brothers have said about season five of "Stranger Things."

"Stranger Things" season five kicked off production in January 2024.

the cast of stranger things with matt and ross duffer, shown posing together on couches and rugs in black and white with a lit up number five in the corner of the room
The cast of "Stranger Things" season five with Matt and Ross Duffer.Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

On January 8, 2024, the official "Stranger Things" account posted on X that the show had entered production.

"THIS IS A CODE RED," the post read. "STRANGER THINGS 5 production has officially begun!!!"

The post featured a photo of the Duffers and the show's cast lounging together next to a red, neon "5" sign.

On September 27, 2023, the show's writer's room account (@strangerwriters) posted an image with the text "we're back," heralding the end of the writers' strike.

Production on the final season was meant to start sooner. It was put on hold until the end of the writers' strike.

A group of writers on strike hold signs outside of an office building with a Netflix logo in the background.
Several writers on strike shared their experiences struggling financially while working on shows that were nominated for or won awards.Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

In a May 6, 2023 tweet from the writers' room Twitter account, the Duffer brothers announced that production was on pause until the writers' strike had ended and the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had reached a "fair deal."

"Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins," the tweet began. "While we're excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then -- over and out. #wgastrong."

The account also liked several tweets supporting the strike, including one featuring an image of a picket sign reading, "Pay us or Steve Harrington is toast."

As of May 2, 2023 WGA writers went on strike after negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP stalled.

The issues at hand for writers include stagnating wages, practices like "mini rooms," and the threat that AI could replace writers, Insider previously reported.

Work on the scripts for season five started back in August 2022.

Six teenagers stand huddled together, each looking shocked or saddened.
The stars of "Stranger Things" season four.Netflix

The Duffer brothers told Collider in July 2022 that after some time off that month following the release of season four, part two, they were planning on starting up the writers' room for season five of the series during the first week of August.

Later, the official writers room Twitter account for the show confirmed that writing had started on August 2, 2022.

Before the strike, the time between the "Stranger Things" season five release date and season four's premiere wasn't expected to be as long as the wait between seasons four and three.

nancy and jonathan in stranger things, standing in a green backyard of sme kind and looking at each other while holding the others' arms
Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) in "Stranger Things."Netflix

The Duffer Brothers told Variety in May 2022 that the time between seasons "should be quite a bit shorter this time," given that their COVID-induced filming hiatus gave them time to outline season five. At the time, the Duffers said they "can't imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus." Well. Oops.

Ahead of the dual writers' and actors' strikes, star Finn Wolfhard told GQ that he'd be 22 when the final season debuted on Netflix, suggesting that "Stranger Things" season five would be released in early 2025. Because of the production delay, many are speculating that the release might be pushed to late 2025 or even 2026. (Netflix hasn't addressed release date rumors.)

For context, there was a nearly three-year wait between seasons three and four. Season three premiered on July 4, 2019, and the first part of the fourth season was released on May 27, 2022.

Season five will be shorter — except for its finale. Probably.

millie bobby brown as eleven in stranger things. her head is shaved and she's wearing a white vest, and as she screams bright yellow sparks arc behind her
Eleven works to regain her powers in "Stranger Things" season four, part one.Netflix

During a July 2022 episode of the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, the Duffer Brothers told host Josh Horowitz that they didn't expect the show's final season to be as long as season four, in part because it won't require the exposition that season four did.

"I don't know if it's gonna be going 100 miles per hour at the start of five, but it's gonna be moving pretty fast," Matt Duffer said. "Characters are already gonna be in action, they're already gonna have a goal and drive, and I think that's gonna carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different.

Ross Duffer said, however, that they're likely to have another "two-and-a-half-hour episode" for the series finale, in order to avoid a television phenomenon in which the series' final episode falls after the climax, and serves as a "wind down."

Still, the brothers said that during the writing process, things could turn out differently length-wise.

Season five will likely feature a time jump.

Stranger Things
Max (Sadie Sink) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) in "Stranger Things."Tina Rowden / Netflix

Ross Duffer told TV Line that he was "sure we will do a time jump" for the show's fifth season, given the young cast's increasing age. The series' young actors are now three to five years older than their characters in the show. 

"Ideally, we'd have shot [seasons four and five] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that," he told TV Line.

It will bring an end to the story of Eleven, Hawkins, and the Upside Down.

david harbour and millie bobby brown as hopper and eleven in stranger things, pressing their foreheads together with their eyes closed affectionately
David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown as Hopper and Eleven in "Stranger Things" season four.Netflix

In February 2022, Netflix announced that the fifth season of "Stranger Things" would be its last. In a letter at the time, the Duffer brothers laid out their plans for the universe. While there was plenty left to explore, the letter read, the series finale would bring an end to its central story.

"We hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down," the brothers said in a letter.

The brothers "feel good" about the "Stranger Things" ending, which they've already planned out.

Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman in season 4 of "Stranger Things."
Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman in season four of "Stranger Things."Netflix

The brothers told Collider in July 2022 that they have confidence in the show's ending, which they've already planned.

"We do feel good about the ending," Matt Duffer said. "I was like, okay, I think this ending is not… I'm not super insecure. I'm insecure about a lot of things, but I feel like this ending feels good."

Ross Duffer told the publication that the final 20 minutes of the series were "locked in."

The Duffer brothers aren't trying to engineer another "Running Up That Hill" moment in season five.

Stranger Things
Sadie Sink in "Stranger Things" season four, part one.Netflix

Matt Duffer told Collider that people were already asking which song they were going to bring back into the zeitgeist in season five, after catapulting Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" up the charts in season four.

"I'm like, 'We're not going to do that again,'" Matt said. "Because if we do it, it will fail."

Max being in a coma is an important plot point.

max lying in a hospital bed in stranger things, completely unconscious and with casts on her body while lucas, eleven, mike, and will watch over her
Max ends up in a coma at the end of "Stranger Things" season four.Netflix

The Duffer brothers said in a post-season four debrief with Netflix Geeked that they did consider permanently killing Max.

"The fact that she's in a coma, I can't really get into the details, but it is important that she is," Matt Duffer said. "That is gonna have a major effect on five. So it's not a, oh well, you know, a cheat. It's incredibly relevant to five."

Season five will explain more about the Upside Down.

A humanoid creature with gray skin kneels in an attic.
Vecna is the villain of "Stranger Things 4."Netflix

Russ Duffer told Netflix Geeked that lingering questions about the Upside Down, such as why it's frozen in time to the point where Will was taken in season one, will be answered in season five.

"The answers to what the Upside Down actually is, is really gonna be the core of what season five is, and the mysteries of season five," Ross said. "And those answers are really gonna lead us to the conclusion of this story."

The fifth season will mostly take place in Hawkins, where it all started.

eleven, will, mike, jonathan, and argyle in stranger things, standing in front of a yellow van with a sign on top that says surfer boy pizza
Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard in "Stranger Things" season four.Netflix

The Duffer brothers told Collider that the fifth season will take place mostly in Hawkins, Indiana, as well as the Upside Down. That's a direct contrast to season four, which saw the cast scattered between Indiana, California, and Russia.

"This is about everyone finally coming back. Coming back together, coming back to Hawkins," Matt Duffer said. "Hopper is back in Hawkins. The original group [is] back together — the original group of boys plus Eleven. The OG group. There's something interesting to re-explore some of the season one dynamics again, except on this grander scale."

The end of the story was apparently emotional enough to make Netflix executives cry.

mike and eleven sitting together at a pizza restaurant, holding hands across a table and looking intently at the other in stranger things
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in "Stranger Things."Netflix

Ross Duffer told The Wrap that when he and Matt pitched season five to Netflix, it led to some tears being shed in the room.

"I mean, it was hard. It's the end of the story," he told the publication. "I saw executives crying who I've never seen cry before and it was wild. And it's not just to do with the story, just the fact that it's like, 'Oh my God, this thing that has defined so many of our lives, these Netflix people who has been with us from the beginning, seven years now,' and it's hard to imagine the journey coming to an end."

Eddie's death will have ramifications in season five.

eddie munson playing guitar in stranger things, standing on top of a roof in the upside down and throwing his head back
Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in "Stranger Things."Netflix

On the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, Matt Duffer said that all the deaths on the show have ramifications on the series.

"Eddie is gonna have huge repercussions on season five, so it's not just serving thematic purpose, it's serving narrative purpose," Matt Duffer said, while defending himself from Millie Bobby Brown's comments that the showrunning duo is reluctant to kill major characters.

Will Byers is going to be a "big focus" of season five.

Stranger Things season 4 Will Byers
Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) turns to the window to cry silently about his feelings in season four of "Stranger Things."Courtesy of Netflix

Matt Duffer told Collider that Will, played by Noah Schnapp, is going to play a large part in season five.

"Will's going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of season five, in his journey. We're starting to see his coming of age, really," Matt told the publication. "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."

Read the original article on Insider