Stranger Things producers Matt and Ross Duffer expanded on what fans can expect from the fifth and final season of the ’80s-set Netflix adventure.
The twin filmmakers were asked, during Sunday night’s performance at the Tudum Theater in Los Angeles, if there are any new ’80s pop culture influences that will shape the final season, by the way. A Nightmare on Elm Street and his villain Freddy Kreuger was formed this summer in two-part Season 4.
“[Season] 5, the way we see it, it’s kind of the end of every season, so it has a little bit from each one,” Ross Duffer told the packed house. “I think what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in the tone of 1. But also in a big-wise, parallel way especially with that 4. So, hopefully, it has a little bit of everything.”
The main thing that sets Season 5 apart from the rest, according to Matt Duffer, is that the danger in the world has become “all kinds of obvious” – not only to our young heroes from the Indiana town of Hawkins, but to their parents and the rest of their community, too.
Stranger Things, for the uninitiated, is a sci-fi drama that follows a group of Midwestern teenagers as they battle supernatural forces connected to an alternate reality known as The Upside Down. The current season of the show picks up months after the Battle of Starcourt, which brought fear and destruction to Hawkins. Worried about the future, our group of friends split up for the first time – and the difficult transition of high school didn’t make things any easier. In this very difficult time, a new and terrifying supernatural threat, revealing a terrible mystery that, if solved, could finally end the horror of the Upside Down.
The Duffers were joined on tonight’s panel – moderated by Patton Oswalt – with director-EP Shawn Levy, as well as longtime members Caleb McLaughlin, Priah Ferguson and Millie Bobby Brown – with the latter, screaming. Others appearing in person included popular Season 4 additions Joseph Quinn, Eduardo Franco and Jamie Campbell Bower.
While the conversation was brief on the take on the fifth season, Ross Duffer confirmed that the writing staff is “on the second phase”, having turned the first script to Netflix “a few weeks ago.” (The title of the Season 5 opener is “Chapter One: The Crawl,” Netflix announced last week.)
Ross shared that the team is moving “full steam ahead” with the writing process, starting to “create the whole plan and backstory” of the Upside Down back in Season 2. He added that while some of the questions surrounding this fantastic stadium were. was answered during Season 4, with “a little” left to reveal in the show’s final year. “But just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters right now, so many of them are still alive,” Duffer continued. “It’s important to wrap up these shows because most of these characters have been growing since Season 1. So, making a balance between giving them time to complete their characters, and then tying up these patches by doing our final shows. “
Levy explained, in closing, that the standard the Duffers are after is one they are capable of hitting. “I’m paralyzed with fear that I’m going to screw anything up, but I will say, the thing about these Duffer brothers is that even though the show has become so popular and the actors are so great, and they’re so much about the ’80s and the superstars and stuff, it’s about these people. It’s about these actors,” he said. “Season 5 has already really taken care of these stories of the players, because that is what life has always been about Stranger Things.”
Stranger Things won 13 Emmy nominations for its fourth season, with wins coming in the areas of prosthetic makeup, sound editing, sound mixing, musical direction and stunt coordination. The show produced by Monkey Massacre Productions and 21 Laps Entertainment was renewed for its fifth and final season in February, although this final chapter will appear on Netflix is not yet clear. Levy exec produces alongside Dan Cohen for 21 Laps, along with the Duffers, Iain Paterson and Curtis Gwinn.