‘Stranger Things’ creators joke that Winona Ryder is the reason the show is ending

Joyce Byers in Stranger Things
Image via Netflix

Season 4 of Stranger Things is going to be longer, more epic and more ambitious than the show has ever been, according to creators Matt and Ross Duffer. The brothers seem to have gone all out for the last season of Netflix’s original masterpiece, but there was just one impediment to its continuation: Winona Ryder’s real-world rise to fame. 

The year is 1988 and Beetlejuice is about to become a cult hit. Eleven, Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas and Max are all sitting in Hawkin’s local theater ready to watch Tim Burton’s new movie until they catch a younger version of Joyce (Winona Ryder) on screen and their heads explode. That’s it, “that’s the final scene [of the show]”, Ross Duffer joked during Deadline’s Contenders Television panel, “the kids go to see Beetlejuice, and their heads explode.”.

Stranger Things’ 1980s setting wouldn’t be much of an issue if it wasn’t for how big of a role pop culture plays in the show. And, there weren’t many stars more popular than Winona Ryder in the last few years of the decade. With the Hawkins timeline quickly approaching 1988, the implications of this crossover within the show’s universe would be too much for the kids. 

Maybe this reason would actually make it easier to say goodbye to the show, but in a few weeks we will all be gearing up to follow Eleven and company on their penultimate adventure. The good news is, Season 4 will be “almost double the length of any [previous] season”, Matt has shared. 

The brothers “wanted to start giving the audience some answers”, Ross added, saying Season 4 will be all about revelations, including what exactly the Upside Down is. “But to do that properly, we needed time, so it just became bigger and bigger”, he said of the reason why this last season will be so long. 

Season 4 will be released in halves. The first comes out May 27th, with the second hitting Netflix on July 1st. The kids’ heads exploding while watching Beetlejuice would be a pretty genius ending, but the Duffer brothers will surely have something even more extraordinary up their sleeves.