Sorry, Stranger Things season 5 isn't likely to make its Netflix debut in 2024

Eleven, Mike, and Will stare into the distance from a hill in Stranger Things season 4
Stranger Things season 4's successor will finally start filming in January 2024. (Image credit: Netflix)

After a long delay, Stranger Things season 5 will finally start filming in January 2024, according to Variety.

Last Friday (December 8), the news outlet suggested the hit Netflix show's final entry will enter full production after the US holiday season. Variety's sources note, however, that an official start date hasn't been settled on yet, so it's unclear when the cameras will start rolling.

Still, news that principal photography on Stranger Things season 5 will be up and running shortly is going to be music to the series' devote fanbase. Almost 18 months have passed since Stranger Things season 4 part 2 was released on Netflix – that was on July 1, 2022 to be precise – and long-time viewers are desperate to see how one of the best Netflix shows will end with its fifth and final season.

Eleven, Mike and the gang in Stranger Things season 4

We probably won't be reunited with Eleven and company in 2024. (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Unfortunately, audiences have had to wait much longer than anticipated for the final installment of Stranger Things' mainline show. 

The 2023 writers and actors strikes delayed production for much of the year, with script work only restarting in late September after Writers Guild of America writers agreed the terms of a new deal following protracted negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers. The Screen Actors Guild strike drew to a close in mid-November, thereby allowing filming to continue on in-development movies and TV shows, as well as others – including Stranger Things 5 – to put plans in place to finally enter full production.

Even with its January 2024 filming start date, Stranger Things' last season won't be ready for release next year. It'll be many months before filming on season 5 is complete, and that's before its considerable post-production phase – the process of editing, the addition of visual effects, sound mixing, and more – gets underway. In short: don't expect a return to Hawkins on one of the world's best streaming services before early 2025 at the very earliest.

Dustin, Max and Erica in Stranger Things season 4

What secrets await audiences in Stranger Things season 5? (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Disappointing as that sounds, we're not completely in the dark over other elements concerning Stranger Things season 5.

At Netflix Tudum 2023 in June, Netflix confirmed that it had added a major Terminator star to Stranger Things 5's starry cast. That announcement followed two big reveals in November 2022, with Stranger Things 5 teased to be the deadliest season yet and the confirmation of season 5 episode 1's title, which sparked four big theories among our writers.

The launch of the franchise's first spin-off – a stage play titled Stranger Things: The First Shadow – also means Stranger Things might be about to hit the big Marvel and Star Wars problem. That makes The First Shadow a must-see production before Stranger Things season 5, in our view, though, we hope the play's big lore reveal will be addressed in the hit Netflix show's final season for anyone unable to catch The First Shadow before it ends.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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