‘Stranger Things’ creators compare their success to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Eleven and Dr. Brenner/Papa standing in front of each other, looking in the direction of the camera
Image via Netflix

The Duffer Brothers are comparing the success of the widely praised Stranger Things to another smash hit release — Top Gun: Maverick. 

The fourth season of the supernatural horror and the Tom Cruise-led blockbuster may have both dropped on May 27, but that’s not the reason the showrunner duo is comparing the two. In an interview with IndieWire, Matt Duffer shared that the pair greatly admired the “good, simple story” of Top Gun, which is all the filmmakers have loved to do over the years. 

It obviously did crazy well, and it’s such a throwback movie. The nostalgia works for the older generation, those of us who grew up with ‘Top Gun,’ but it’s also resonating with everybody. And the storytelling is so, so traditional Hollywood blockbuster, and it exploded. It’s not trying to do anything super fancy. It’s just trying to tell a good, simple story. That’s where I’m like, ‘OK, this type of storytelling is still working.’ That’s great. That’s the storytelling I love, and I don’t know how to do anything else.’

Season four of Stranger Things has been lauded by critics and fans alike, becoming Netflix’s most streamed English-language series of all time. It’s been nominated for 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. A fifth season is on the way.

Top Gun: Maverick has also enjoyed its fair share of success and record-breaking feats, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2022 so far, as well as the highest in Cruise’s long and illustrious career. Sometimes a good, simple story works.