Millie Bobby Brown Knows Eleven’s Ending in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 and Fans Are Nervous

stranger things season 5 cast
'Stranger Things' Season 5 Is Now FilmingNetflix
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All good things must come to an end—even Stranger Things. The hit Netflix sci-fi thriller, which first arrived in the summer of 2016, will conclude with its fifth season, which has no release date yet. The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, announced the news with a bittersweet letter to fans on February 17, 2022.

“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” they wrote. “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 yourselves—we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.”

With Stranger Things’ season 4 now in the books (with quite the jam-packed finale), the wait for the next and final chapter is on. Here’s what we know so far.

stranger things letter from matt and ross duffer

[table-of-contents] stripped

When will Stranger Things 5 be released?

It’s too early to say, but we can look to past seasons for reference. As the Duffers say in their letter, it took almost two years to create the fourth season, which was released in two parts, on May 27 and July 1, 2022. While filming ST4 during the height of the pandemic and lockdown surely involved its own delays, producing a massive finale season will require a long wait, too. The earliest we can expect to see ST5 is well into 2024.

David Harbour all but confirmed this theory. “I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year,” he told GQ. “But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record.”

However, in May, the Writer’s Guild of America voted to strike for fairer wages and other issues facing TV and screenplay writers, such as the use of AI and the “mini-rooms” that have become the norm, making it far more difficult for writers to earn a living. The Duffer brothers announced via the show’s official Twitter account that they would be halting production in support of the WGA and the writers on the picket line, further delaying the release of season 5.

“Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins,” they explained. “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.”

It has become less common for writers to be on set during production, though this was once the norm. Stranger Things may be a set where that is expected and necessary for the show to film. No new date has been announced as the strike unfolds.

Has filming started yet?

Production is now under way. The writers shared the news on January 8 with a photo of the cast gathered together with the Duffer Brothers.

Photos taken on Thursday, January 18, and posted by TMZ, show the cast filming in Atlanta, with David Harbour and Winona Ryder coming to set and the kids shooting emotional final scenes for the series. In one picture, Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard can be seen having a conversation on top of a hill. Others take place on a radio station set.

What will the final season be about?

How do you sum up this epic story, one that transcends dimensions and stretches far beyond the borders of Hawkins, Indiana? The Duffers have a plan; we’re just not privy to it yet. We do know one thing, though: Expect tears.

“We do have an outline for season 5 and we pitched it to Netflix and they really responded well to it,” Ross Duffer told The Wrap in May 2022. “I mean, it was hard. It’s the end of the story. I saw executives crying who I’ve never seen cry before and it was wild.”

Actor David Harbour, who plays Hopper, had previously confirmed to Variety that he’d learned the season 5 ending and thought it “quite moving and quite beautiful.”

In the Duffer Brothers’ February letter to fans, they added, “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.” Might that mean a spin-off in the future? “But first 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 called the Upside Down. As always, we are gracious for your patience and your support.”

The showrunning duo also confirmed there would be no “reset” going into season 5. Matt Duffer told Empire, “Usually at the end of a season, we tie things up with a nice bow, before a little tease that says, ‘Hold on, something is unraveling.’ As we move into season 5, we won’t have to do that. There won't be a reset from where we finish this season [season 4].” And the Duffers kept their word: Season 4 ends with a cliffhanger, as the Hawkins crew prepares for one last battle with the Upside Down.

Oh, and we can expect Will Byers to finally come out of the closet. As actor Noah Schnapp confirmed to Variety, “it’s 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike,” later adding, “There’s so many different things they have to address. Obviously, we hope for a coming out scene, and I also want to see them address this connection to the Mind Flayer and how that fits into the world. And I’ve always been wondering, why was Will the first victim and the first one captured?”

Vecna isn’t necessarily gone for good. Jamie Campbell Bower told NME, “I don’t think he’s slunk off licking his wounds in misery. He’s rebuilding, and he’s out for blood.” He could stronger than ever in season 5.

As for Eleven, we don’t know what’s going to happen to her in the final season, but Millie Bobby Brown seems to know her character’s fate, and it’s making fans nervous.

On Thursday, March 7, the actress spoke with Capital FM about the series’ conclusion.

“I haven’t read the end,” she said. “I know what happens to my character because I kind of forced myself into the writers room.”

“Basically, I messaged the directors, ‘Can I come over and have a meeting with you?’ And then I came over, and there was a whiteboard,” she explained. “I just saw my ending and thought, ‘Oooooh,’ and then I walked away very slowly.”

The internet was nervous about her reaction, believing that Elle may be in for a dark finale.

How many episodes will there be?

The Stranger Things writers hinted that there’ll be eight episodes when they tweeted a photo of a whiteboard separated into eight columns, each numbered from episode 1-8.

They later tweeted the first page of the script for season 5, episode 1 on Nov. 6. It’s titled “Chapter 1: The Crawl.”

The episodes will probably be shorter than season 4’s super-sized ones—except for the finale.

“The only reason we don’t expect to be as long is, this season [season 4], if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery. You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth, Steve’s trying to find a date, all of that. None of that is obviously going to be occurring [in season 5],” Matt Duffer said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, per Deadline. When it comes to the series finale, “We’re more likely to do what we did here, which is to just have a 2.5 hour episode,” he added.

When will season 5 be set?

Probably not immediately after the events in season 4, if that’s what you’re expecting. Ross Duffer told TVLine, “I’m sure we will do a time jump.” Which makes sense, given how quickly our lead actors are growing up. “Ideally, we’d have shot [seasons 4 and 5] back to back,” Ross added, “but there was just no feasible way to do that.”

Will there be a Stranger Things spin-off?

Yes. We just don’t know what it will be about yet. (Though Finn Wolfhard has apparently already figured it out.)

“There’s a version of it developing in parallel [to season 5], but they would never shoot it parallel,” Ross Duffer told Variety. “I think actually we’re going to start delving into that soon as we’re winding down and finishing these visual effects, Matt and I are going to start getting into it.”

Matt Duffer added, “It’s going to be different than what anyone is expecting, including Netflix.” Intriguing indeed.

Who will be in the cast of season 5 of Stranger Things?

Most of the main cast is expected to return, including Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Noah Schnapp (Will), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Sadie Sink (Max), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Joe Keery (Steve), Priah Ferguson (Erica), and Winona Ryder (Joyce). And at least one new cast member will join in season 5, as Netflix announced during its 2023 TUDUM event: Terminator actress Linda Hamilton.

linda hamilton at the 'terminator dark fate' premiere in tokyo
Jun Sato - Getty Images

For her part, Brown is ready to return—but only once more. She recently admitted to Seventeen that she’s eager for season 5 to be her last.

“I’m definitely ready to wrap up,” she said. “I feel like there’s a lot of the story that’s been told now. It’s been in our lives for a very long time. But I’m very ready to say goodbye to this chapter of my life, and open new ones up.”

Brown added, “I’m able to create stories myself that are important to me and focus on the bigger picture. But I’m really grateful [for the show].”

Is there a trailer yet?

Not yet, but the writers are already to tease the script. On November 6, they shared a snippet from “Season 5. Chapter 1. Scene 1.”

This story will be updated.

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