The Opening Of Stranger Things Season 2 Was Inspired By The Dark Knight


The excellent Netflix Original series Stranger Things has 1980s nostalgia woven through every frame of every episode – and that’s a large part of its appeal. But, there are some later references evident in there, too – most specifically the opening sequence of the first episode of season 2, which the Duffer Brothers highlight as inspired by The Dark Knight.

In conversation with Vulture, the two creators discussed their desire to explore movie sequels, as well as 1980s pop culture – and, according to Matt Duffer, it’s this that led to the thrilling ‘cold open’ for episode one.

“We always looked at the movie sequels that we admired, and they always pivot and they always try new things. Even if you swing and miss, at least you’re trying something different.

“We were definitely going for [a Dark Knight vibe]. Some of this stuff happens subconsciously, so I’m sure, yeah, we were ripping off Chris Nolan. Some of it was deliberately. We put on movie music when we write — I know I wrote that [scene] to The Dark Knight score or The Matrix, one or the other. But we love that kind of film, and we don’t usually get to explore that kind of vibe or tone on the show, so I think that’s really why we did it.”

When your TV show is all about the 1980s, and you want to reference some your favourite movie sequels that hail from outside of that target decade, the ‘cold open’ of season 2 is the definitely the time to do it. Such a move, when executed correctly, serves to make the audience immediately snap to attention, rather than sink back into the sense of familiarity on which the entire show is predicated.

The opening sequence of Stranger Things season 2 exclusively involves brand new characters, in a brand new location, engaging in activities that are unlike anything seen in season 1. It’s only right at the very end that the connection to the overall story is revealed – and in such a way that the audience is hooked, needing to know more. Thankfully, this level of creative ingenuity never wanes as the second season unfolds, and the residents of Hawkins, Indiana are plunged right back into the struggle for their lives.

Stranger Things season 2 is available now, in its entirety, on Netflix.