The day Stranger Things fans have been anxiously awaiting all summer has finally arrived: Netflix on Wednesday officially greenlit a second season, set to premiere sometime in 2017.
Wanting answers immediately, EW called up creators the Duffer Brothers for an exclusive batch of season teases. Here’s what we got for you Thing-ers:
Everyone will be back…Well, maybe.
While some, including EW’s own James Hibberd, have argued the series should be an anthology, the Duffers opted to tell a continuing story in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Still, the pair toyed around initially with flashing forward a bit before settling on continuing the story in 1984. “I don’t think we ever thought anthology,” says Ross Duffer. “I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade. That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here [in the 1980s], there’s still things that are unresolved.” So, expect to see the return of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), etc. “We don’t know about Eleven,” says Ross Duffer. “We leave that up in the air.”
There will be newbies.
The Duffers reveal there are four new characters popping up in season 2. “There’s going to be a lot of new and interesting dynamics that we didn’t see in season 1,” says Matt Duffer. There are nine titles in the recently released teaser, including one called “The Lost Brother.” Could that be one of the new characters?
James Cameron is a season 2 influence.
Just as they modeled season 1 after a movie, they look at season two as a blockbuster’s sequel. “I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different,” explains Matt. “There’s Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”
Hawkins won’t be the only setting.
“We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” says Matt of Things’ small Indiana town. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”
But we will return to the Upside Down.
The Duffers want to go further into Things’ alternate dimension. “We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down,” says Matt. “So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of season 1.” Adds Ross: “We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.”
Season 2 will be longer than season 1.
For those who thought season 1 was too short, the second installment of Things will be nine episodes — one installment longer than the first. But the Duffers don’t want it to get too big. “We’re letting the story dictate it,” says Matt. “I think if it gets any longer, it gets unwieldy for us. We want to make sure it’s manageable and we want to be able to tell a movie-like story where it’s never treading water. We want it to have the same feel and pacing as season 1. I think if we extend it too much, it will have a very different feel.”