The upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things is still undergoing a rather prolonged production due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That’s just as well for the residents of Hawkins, Indiana, as they’ve no doubt managed to catch a break from the relentless struggle against the Mind Flayer and its seemingly evil machinations.
Now, as we inch closer to a release date, probably set in 2022, the cast and crew are starting to tease fans about what’s to come. Previously, the gang dealt with a secret Soviet laboratory under the unfortunate town, with Jim Hopper sacrificing himself to seal the Upside Down while the youngsters battled the abomination in the Starcourt Mall.
Thanks to a teaser trailer that Netflix released late last year, though, we know that Hopper isn’t actually dead. Instead, he’s somehow found himself on the other side of the Pacific in a Soviet labor camp, and now that the Byers and Eleven are gone from Hawkins, it’ll be some time before the next big threat reunites them all.
Still, it’s clear that things are going to be as chaotic as the third outing, if not more. Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer (who portrays Nancy Wheeler) recently spoke with W Magazine, teasing a “darker” fourth season.
“I can’t say much. It’s bigger, it’s darker, and it’s gonna be great,” The actress said. “It’s such a hard question. I’m like, ‘I can say that,’ but then I’m like, ‘Oh, can I?’ I’m not sure … You know, we kind of pick up a bit after where we left off. [Laughs] I really have been saying the most generic things. They put us in a really tough spot. I say this every season, but I really am excited. I think the cast and crew are, too. We’re all amazed that despite everything, we were able to keep working. And I will say, I’ve really come to admire the ‘kids’ on our show. They’re not kids anymore.
Byer also addressed the COVID-19 restrictions and their effects on filming, adding:
“And there have been bigger and crazier things happening in every season since the first. I’m partially so excited about this one because the way we shot it feels so different, so stretched out, you know? There’s stuff we filmed a year and a half ago, which is kind of crazy to still be working on it, like, ‘What did we shoot? That was so long ago.’ I’m really curious to see it, though it’ll be a while. We don’t know when, but of course, you edit after you wrap, so it’ll be a minute.”
The Duffer Brothers, the show’s executive producers, have always managed to up the ante with each installment. Now, given the sheer ambition and scope of the third run, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what they’ve planned for Stranger Things season 4, which will allegedly be “bigger” and darker.” But I guess there’s a long wait ahead of us yet.