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Stranger Things season 4: everything we know so far

A movie-style poster of the cast of season 3 while we wait for Stranger Things season 4.
(Image credit: Netflix)
Stranger Things season 4: key info

- Coming in 2022
- Hopper is imprisoned in Russia
- The main cast is returning
- Filming may end very, very soon
- Described as the scariest season yet

Stranger Things season 4 is coming in 2022. The next instalment in Netflix's hugely popular TV series won't arrive this year unfortunately, but we might get a new update or two on it very soon.

Right now, there's very little we officially know about Stranger Things 4. There have been a number of leaked images and plenty of teases from the cast and crew, but nothing substantial. It isn't surprising that everyone is playing it coy, though, as they (and we) don't want spoilers leaking out ahead of time.

So, what do we know about Stranger Things season 4? Based on the teaser trailers thus far, we know that Sheriff Jim Hopper is alive somewhere in the world and that Eleven's back story may form part of this season's plot. We also know that there is a raft of new characters for us to grow to love (or hate) and that season is supposed to be the scariest one so far.

It goes without saying, but there are spoilers for Stranger Things seasons 1 to 3 from this point on. Read on at your own risk.

Release date: 2022, which has now been confirmed by Netflix.

Trailer: There are already a few teasers for Stranger Things season 4, but a full trailer isn't here yet.

Cast: All of the main cast members are returning, along with a bunch of newly confirmed characters.

Plot: We know Hopper is imprisoned in Russia after the finale of season 3 – and that's mostly it when it comes to specifics. This season has been described as the scariest to date, though, and the cast have been dropping bits of info about what's new with their characters this season.

Stranger Things season 4 release date

Stranger Things season 4 release date: 2022

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Finally, we've received confirmation that Stranger Things season 4 will release on Netflix in 2022. 

The reveal came as part of a brief teaser trailer for the next set of episodes, which you can view above. It's mostly made of familiar footage, but there's about 10 seconds of new material near the end for fans to theorize about.

Before that teaser arrived, Harbour had teased that filming may wrap soon. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Harbour revealed that he was "almost done" with filming on season 4. Not only that, but the Black Widow and Hellboy star also said that "we should be done in August".

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Season 4 won't be the final entry in the series either, even though its ending has been planned. "Season 4 won't be the end," co-creator Ross Duffer told THR. "We know what the end is, and we know when it is." 

Speaking to Collider, Levy reiterated that stance and seemed to suggest that season 5 could be the final instalment in Netflix's biggest show. "I have the end in sight," he said. The [Duffer] brothers have the end in sight. There is a plan and that too will be shared, not quite as soon as a sense of when Season 4 is coming out, but soon enough. I can say this. No one's making it up as we go along and there is an endgame, if you will."

We can expect at least one more season after this, then, though there has been speculation that there will be six seasons in total before the TV show is done and dusted.

Regardless, it sounds like principal photography on season 4 might be done in the immediate future. As Levy tells Collider in another article, Stranger Things 4 is "not quite done filming, but imminently", which means we should see the cast and crew posting wrap photographs on social media soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Stranger Things season 4 trailer: is there one?

Stranger Things season 4 trailer

Yes, but they're only teaser trailers. You can watch the other two videos below (the first is the teaser trailer above), one of which confirms the survival of one key character from season 3:

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As the above teaser reveals, Hopper survived the events of season 3. His fate was unknown after he convinced Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) to cause the Russians' machine – which opened a gate to the Upside Down – to self-destruct, despite Hopper being trapped inside.

However, fans had speculated that Hopper didn't die in the blast. When two Russian soldiers said "the American" shouldn't be fed to a captive Demogorgon in a mid-credits teaser, fans thought they knew who the soldiers were referring to. It could only be one man: Hopper, and the teaser above confirmed as much.

Another two trailers have been released since this Hopper-centric one. There's the 2022 release date trailer above, and we've posted the other one further down the page to coincide with our plot speculation.

It might not be too long until we get an official trailer either. Netflix recently announced that its first-ever global fan event – Tudum, based on the streamer's iconic start up sound – will arrive on September 25. Numerous Stranger Things cast members are seen in the announcement video below, so we suspect that there may be an update then:

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Even if we don't get an official trailer, Levy has teased that another teaser may be on the way. Speaking to Collider, Levy said: "Maybe it's a little taste of something" before confirming that a full trailer won't be arriving as soon as filming wraps.

Back to Hopper: we don't know what he'll be doing as part of his imprisonment, but the actor did go live on Instagram in one of his season 4 costumes a while back. Harbour didn't give any spoilers away, he did FaceTime Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), and the duo briefly confirmed that they had both filmed in Atlanta:

Stranger Things season 4: what will the story be about?

Stranger Things season 4 story

While there isn't an official synopsis yet, we've been receiving a steady trickle of information from the cast and crew – and all signs point towards season 4 being darker than its predecessors.

Joe Keery, who plays Steve Harington, told Total Film that season 4 will be the "scariest yet", and David Harbour revealed (per Deadline) that Hopper's journey this season will be "painted in a bit of a darker palette."

Speaking to The New York Times during the Black Widow press tour, Harbour also stated that movies including Alien 3 and The Great Escape had inspired season 4. We imagine that both are tied to Hopper's arc specifically, though, given that he's in a Russian prison and there's a Demogorgon nearby.

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harbour also hinted that fans would see a major moment, in Hopper's backstory, revealed during season 4. According to Harbour, it's something that goes right back to the "first frame of the first season". It might be worth preparing ourselves for something to do with his deceased daughter Sara, in that case, so make sure you have a tissue or two handy when that episode rolls around.

That's not all either. In a March interview with Collider, Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson) revealed that the Duffer brothers had finished writing the season 4 scripts, which is a far cry from how the duo had previously worked.

For seasons 1 through 3, the Duffer brothers were still penning the final couple of episodes while filming was ongoing – a process that led to some "panic writing" on their part, according to Matarazzo. This time around, the Covid-19 pandemic allowed the pair to finish writing season 4 before principal photography restarted last September.

Matarazzo was also a guest on the April 7, 2021 edition of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. During the chat, Matarazzo claimed that season 4 would be the "scariest" one yet, and that the Duffer brothers were "really going for it this year".

In a separate ET Online interview, Maya Hawke was asked about Robin's season 4 story arc. Hawke didn't give anything away, but she did hint that the Duffer brothers "really dig into her this season".

One seemingly confirmed piece of information we do have, which relates to season 4's plot, is its length. In a tweet posted by the writers' team – uploaded in June 2020 – it appears that there will be nine episodes in season 4, just like there was in season 2:

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While the image above seems to only show eight scripts, Dyer appeared to confirm that there would be nine episodes in season 4 (h/t The Hollywood Reporter).

The official Stranger Things Instagram account has also revealed the title of season 4's first episode. It'll be called 'The Hellfire Club', and this will relate to one of the new characters who will be appearing in Stranger Things' next chapter:

We're also expecting to see more of Eleven's backstory play out in Stranger Things season 4. A new teaser, which arrived on May 6, is centered around a flashback to when Eleven was one of Doctor Brenner's child test subjects at Hawkins National Laboratory.

The video suggests that Brenner may still be alive, if the end of the teaser is anything to go by, and that we should expect another two teaser videos before season 4's eventual release:

There are also plenty of unresolved plot threads from season 3. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has seemingly lost her powers, while the gang has been split up with the Byers family leaving for pastures new. 

Joyce, Will, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Eleven have departed after Joyce sold her home, with the likes of Mike and Nancy left to mull over long-distance relationships with Eleven and Jonathan respectively.

Max will be dealing with the fallout from brother Billy's death, too. Speaking to Glamour, Sink hinted that Max will be in a "very different place", and that this could be "geographically or mentally or perhaps both".

Finally, leaked set photos appear to show Eleven will be involved in some sort of accident in season 4.

The images (published by Metro UK) appear to show the fan-favorite character being wheeled out on a stretcher, towards an ambulance, by two paramedics. In another photograph, police and the US army inspect the site where a building has collapsed.

Naturally, it's unclear what this means for Eleven's arc in season 4. Given that she lost her abilities in season 3's finale, though, the two incidents may be linked. It's that, or Brenner has found and kidnapped her, so he can continue his sinister experiments.

Stranger Things season 4 cast: who is portraying who?

Stranger Things season 4 cast

Brett Gelman portraying Murray Bauman in Stranger Things

(Image credit: Netflix)

The TV show's core cast will reprise their roles for season 4:

  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
  • David Harbour as Jim Hopper
  • Millie Bobby Brown as 'Eleven'/Jane Hopper
  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harington

Brett Gelman, who played conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman in seasons 2 and 3, has also been bumped up to a series regular. Meanwhile, Priah Ferguson, Matthew Modine, Joe Chrest and Cara Buono will also reprise their roles as Erica Sinclair, Matthew Brenner, Ted Wheeler and Karen Wheeler respectively.

As we mentioned above, Modine should be back as Brenner due to his presence in one of the teaser trailers. Like we said earlier, though, we don't know what capacity that will be in yet.

Meanwhile, in November 2020, Variety also revealed some of the new faces we'll be seeing in Stranger Things season 4:

  • Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd) as Peter Ballard, a caring orderly at a psychiatric hospital.
  • Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) as Argyle, Jonathan's new best friend. A fun-loving stoner and pizza-delivery boy.
  • Joseph Quinn (Catherine the Great) as Eddie Munson, an audacious metalhead that runs Hawkins High's D&D society, The Hellfire Club. At the centre of this season's key mystery.
  • Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) as Victor Creel, a disturbed, intimidating man imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.
  • Tom Wlashicha (Game of Thrones) as Dmitri, a Russian prison guard who befriends Hopper.
  • Sherman Augustus (Virus) as Lt. Colonel Sullivan, an intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he can stop the evil consuming Hawkins for good.
  • Mason Dye (Teen Wolf) as Jason Carver, a handsome, rich sport star, whose perfect world unravels as evil spreads.
  • Nikola Djuricko (World War Z) as Yuri, a Russian smuggler.
  • Tyner Rushing (Lovecraft Country) as Virginia Creel, a relative of Victor's.
  • Joel Stoffer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) as Warden Hatch.

Bower, Franco and Quinn's characters have been added as main cast members, while the others will be recurring throughout season 4.

Finally, four new cast members were revealed as part of the Netflix Geeked Week event in early June:

  • Amybeth McNulty (Anne With an E) as Vickie, a cool, fast-talking band nerd who catches the eye of one of our beloved heroes.
  • Miles Truitt (Queen Sugar) as Patrick, a Hawkins basketball star who has friends, talent and a good life... until shocking events send his life spiraling out of control.
  • Regina Ting Chen (Queen of the South) as Ms. Kelly, a popular guidance counselor who cares deeply for her students – especially those struggling the most.
  • Grace Van Dien (Charlie Says) as Chrissy, Hawkins High's lead cheerleader and the most popular girl in school. But, beneath the seemingly perfect surface, lies a deep secret.

Will Stranger Things still have the same magic when it returns after all this time? We're hoping so. If anything, the longer it takes, the more likely the creators are to get it right once again.