Netflix exec says he’s not hedging bets on ‘Stranger Things 4’ single-handedly turning things around


Matthew Thunell, the Stranger Things executive producer and head of Netflix’s spectacle and event scripted programming, spoke to Variety regarding the long-awaited release of Stranger Things 4, the first volume of which premieres on Friday, May 27. It’s no secret that Netflix has had some hits and misses over the years; not every television series can be the next Squid Game, but Stranger Things has quickly become one of the most popular Netflix originals ever.

The Duffer Brothers’ quirky sci-fi series takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, where an otherworldly monstrosity known as the Demogorgon is unleashed and at-the-time 12-year-old resident Will Byers goes missing. From there, a courageous group of children uncover secrets about the supposedly quiet town and the monsters that dwell within it. In the past, Netflix announced that “40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days.” However, Thunnell wants to clarify that Netflix isn’t holding out hope on Stranger Things alone, and instead cherishes all of its content.

“There’s no one title that drives our business. Obviously, ‘Stranger Things’ is beloved around the world and when you talk about all of it, for us, it’s about how do we continue to create fan joy 365 days a year and that kind of investment in the characters and the extension of the stories. It’s always thinking about the fans first.”

More recently, Netflix Originals like Heartstopper, Ozark, and 365 Days have really taken off, driving the streaming giant towards further global success. Some of its most-watched series include Bridgerton, The Witcher, Money Heist and Tiger King, earning well over 50 million viewers each. Unfortunately, with all of its hits come all of its misses; Netflix has seen plenty of television shows bomb horribly in recent months, including Marvel’s Iron Fist, Hemlock Grove, Disjointed, and Sense8. Although the Netflix exec has assured that streaming service won’t be relying on Stranger Things to boost its ratings, it honestly really should.

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Chynna Wilkinson

Chynna Wilkinson

For over 7 years, Chynna has been a noteworthy presence within creative media. As a self- proclaimed geek and driven by a passion for horror, comic books, video games, and modern cinema, she takes pride in providing only the best publications. She likes to label herself as an innovative writer doing what she loves, especially when it concerns her favorite interests. Aside from personal written projects, she can be credited as an award-winning screenwriter, published poet, and accomplished academic writer. She has taken the media industry by storm, producing short stories, screenplays, articles, features, and poetry that thoroughly engage, excite and thrill those fortunate enough to read them. She enjoys watching anime, horror movies, and animated shows; her life revolves around cinema, video games, and tasteful literature.