The first season of Stranger Things had eight episodes. The second season increased the order to nine episodes. TV Line now reports that the hit sci-fi series will now return back down to eight episodes for the upcoming season. While we knew that the Stranger Things 3 number of episodes wouldn’t be anything ridiculous or even approaching the limited standards of 13 episodes, there was an outside chance Netflix might ask for a tenth episode. Money is no object to the streaming service, and despite a lack of hard data, it’s clear that Stranger Things is a bona fide hit for Netflix.
Details on Stranger Things Season 3 are still scarce. Back in December, we compiled a list of everything we knew thus far. We know that there will be another time jump so that the kids don’t have to play younger than they are (which means we’re likely moving to 1985), and that means they’ll be moving from middle school to high school. Executive Producer/Director Shawn Levy also confirmed that Eleven isn’t the only special kid out there, and that it’s pretty like Season 3 will be about the search for those children.
However, there will also be a new story involved as well. Executive Producer Dan Cohen said, “They’re movies, they really are standalone movies, and they really do fit within the Star Wars films or Harry Potter movies in that they are standalone things where you have enough of a nod to get into the next story, but they can function and you can enjoy on their own.” Of course, that leads to the question of how much the next installment will be involved with the Upside Down and the strange beasts therein. Stranger Things 2 felt very much about like taking aspects from the first season and doing more—more monsters, bigger monsters, a larger threat—so it will be interesting to see how much of a departure they’ll make from that with Stranger Things 3.
No new cast members have been announced yet, but the new season will see the return of Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Cara Buono, Natalie Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, and Sadie Sink.