To say that Stranger Things took the Internet by storm during the summer may read as something of an understatement – just look at the scores of creative Halloween costumes and decorations that surfaced this past weekend – but Netflix subscribers weren’t the only ones to be surprised by the show’s barnstorming premiere.
Chatting to io9, Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy admitted that he was floored by the reception, stating, “it’s been truly shocking, but absolutely thrilling.”
“Not only did we not have a clue it would be this popular, we didn’t even fantasize it would be this popular,” Levy said. “All we knew was it was cool and exactly what we told Netflix we wanted to make a year earlier. But we never even aspired to this phenom status that we’ve reached since July 15. It’s been truly shocking but absolutely thrilling.”
Now comes the tricky conundrum of trying to emulate the show’s inaugural season. From what we know so far, co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer are angling the sophomore outing as a sequel, one that will take place in the year 1984. Newcomers have been added in the form of Sadie Sink and Power Rangers star Dacre Montgomery, while the likes of Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) and Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) – and potentially Millie Bobby Brown – have been bumped to series regulars, but the added pressure remains.
Here’s what Levy had to say:
“We don’t live under a rock,” Levy said. “We really want to satisfy expectations and affections of our fans, but that’s not to say we’re going to cater to everything people want. At the end of the day, we are going to rely, as we did in season one, on the core instincts of the [Duffer] brothers.”
Interestingly, what separates Stranger Things from other shows of its ilk is the fact that the Netflix sensation is governed by a small group of people. “There’s no studio, there’s no outside showrunner, there’s no big TV company. There’s literally [producer] Dan Cohen, me, the Duffer Brothers and we deal with three execs at Netflix. This TV show is made by a smaller team than almost any TV show or movie I’ve ever heard of.”
Stranger Things season 2 is expected to premiere in 2017. Next up for Levy is a directing gig on Sony’s Uncharted movie, which will seemingly tap into Nathan Drake’s lineage.