“Stranger Things” fans are going to get even more of their favorite show in the upcoming season.
Two weeks from the premiere of the fourth season of the Netflix ‘80s-angled fantasy series, creators the Duffer brothers, Ross and Matt, are already thinking ahead.
They told Collider that episodes seven and nine (the season finale) of the new season will be feature-length, with one more episode than previously expected.
Given that an episode of the show is usually around an hour and 15 minutes, the longer ones are guaranteed to be epic.
These are not minor announcements. For fans, it’s that many more adventures to behold. But given that word recently broke that each episode costs Netflix $30 million to make, the extra and longer episodes reveal a huge commitment from the streaming giant. Note Ross Duffer’s explanation of the extra episode.
"I think we were at least halfway,” said Ross, “but I think probably over halfway through this season, were trying to squeeze the story in, and we sat down with our writers, and we said, "I don't think this is feasible in eight episodes". So we went to Netflix and said, "Hey, are you okay if we do one more episode?", and luckily they were very supportive of that, but that's how we ended up with that extra episode. But it was not originally planned that way. It wasn't outlined that way. It was always going to be eight. And then it just ended up being too much story."
Yet, the Duffer brothers are thinking even further ahead than that.
It seems the shutdown downtime of the pandemic left loads of planning and writing time, as they’ve said they’ve already outlined season 5 – yet another hint that Netflix is in this show for the long haul.
Season 4 starts six months after the closing of the last season’s storyline that ended with the Battle at Starcourt Mall. So extensive will the plot be that this new season will be split into two parts, or “volumes.”
The two feature-length episodes and extra show added to the longer delay between seasons. But that also meant the show was able to accomplish something it hadn’t done before – the entire season four scripts were fully completed by the time production began.
"We had all the scripts before we started shooting,” said Matt Duffer, “so we could look at the whole thing as a whole, and we outlined all of Season 5... This was due to the six-month hiatus that we had due to the pandemic. We don't typically have as much time. It usually feels like the train is going down the tracks, and Ross and I and our writers are just throwing down track as we're going, once we're halfway through the season. For the first time ever, we were able to look at it globally, not just Season 4, but Season 5 as well, and they really are of a piece."
The Duffers may also be giving extra time to season five because, as previously reported, that will be the final season of the show.
Season 4 of “Stranger Things” premieres Friday May 27; the second volume premieres July 1.