Stranger Things season four might be the penultimate chapter of the Netflix phenomenon, but fans don’t need to worry about time running out for the show just yet. The incoming next run of the nostalgic sci-fi series is known to be the biggest yet, whichever way you slice it. Not only will it consist of nine episodes, but instead of the typical eight, each of those installments will be super-sized, with none of them coming in under an hour.
So with the regular episodes being almost feature-length, the creators needed to really pull out all the stops for the season finale. Episode nine, then, has been revealed to possess double the runtime of the rest of the season, coming in at a truly epic two hours plus. Showrunners the Duffer brothers confirmed the exciting news while speaking to The Wrap about how the episode lengths kind of got away from them this year. According to Matt Duffer, things just kept spiraling throughout production.
“The more we were writing, the more we realized we need more time in order for these reveals to land, in order for these storylines to work. Partway through we knew we needed to ask Netflix for nine episodes instead of eight and as we started shooting we realized, Oh these are mega-long episodes.”
While episode seven is also apparently pretty filmic, episode nine is the one with the blockbuster-level runtime. “Seven and nine in particular are movies,” Matt Duffer added. “And nine is a long movie.” When pressed on exactly how long it will be, Ross Duffer admitted that the finale is still being edited but he’s certain that it will ultimately come in at somewhere over 120 minutes. “We’re still refining it but we will say that it is over two hours,” he said. “It’s a big one.”
The more we find out about the enormous scale of ST4 it’s becoming clearer just why this batch of episodes took so long to produce — filming started in early 2020 and didn’t conclude until late 2021. Obviously, part of that protracted time frame was due to COVID-related delays, but a lot of it must’ve also been down to just how much material they had to shoot. It sounds like the production team essentially made eight mini-movies and one fully-fledged cinematic experience.
Remember, the first volume of Stranger Things 4 is on its way to Netflix this Friday, May 27. The second volume will then follow six weeks later on July 1.