‘Stranger Things’ creators reveal the cast aged at least a year in the space of a single scene

Stranger Things Eleven and the Pizza Boys
via Netflix

There have already been countless memes joking about how the kids of Stranger Things have gotten significantly older by season 4. After all, while there was about a year and three months between seasons 1 and 2, and over a year and a half between seasons 3 and 4, the supersized fourth season combined with a pandemic resulted in nearly three years elapsing between the latest seasons.

And considering that production was working with kids who were between 10 and 13 years old when the series first began filming in 2015, it’s impossible not to notice the drastic age difference. When asked about the biggest challenges the pandemic brought to season 4 in a new interview with Deadline, series creators the Duffer Brothers explained how as much as a year or more actually passed not just over the course of the season — but within the same scenes.

MATT DUFFER: We’re always racing against time with our younger actors, who got six months older than when we initially started. There are actually scenes in this season — because we had all the scripts, so we shot all out of order — there was the scene when they leave Mike’s basement, and they’re outside. And they’re a year and a half older.

ROSS DUFFER: I think a year. I don’t think a year and a half. They do age radically.

MATT DUFFER: We were shooting for about three, four weeks when we got shut down. On a typical season, we’ve written about four or five of the scripts, and Ross and I stop working on the scripts because we’re directing the first two episodes. We direct the first two episodes, and then, we start to frantically try to finish the season up as production continues.”

But with a game plan already laid out for the Stranger Things endgame in season 5, which apparently goes “100 miles an hour from the beginning,” fans ideally won’t have to wait that long between seasons for the explosive series finale.

“Don’t hold us to it, but the gap should be quite a bit shorter this time, due to the fact that we already have an initial outline, and we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus,” the Duffers told Variety back in May.

Well fans can hold out hope, anyway. If we can’t get Will Byers a makeover for the apocalypse, a speedy conclusion would be the next best thing.