Stranger Things was one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of 2016, made all the more special given the fact that it kind of came out of nowhere. For a lot of Netflix shows like Daredevil or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt there was a bevy of marketing buzz and buildup, but Stranger Things exploded organically without much warning. The show’s first season, created by The Duffer Brothers, was conceived more as a long film than a TV series, with an 80s-centric setting, sci-fi-tinged premise, and pre-teen protagonists. Shades of Stephen King and Amblin abound, and the series resonated with viewers across the globe, with audiences clamoring for Season 2 as soon as they completed their binge.
With Stranger Things Season 2 now on the horizon, as evidenced by recent casting and a table read photo revealed last week, fans are no doubt curious to see what the show has in store for its next chapter. So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub hosted an IMAX screening and Q&A with Stranger Things producer/director Shawn Levy of his film Real Steel last night, they touched on Stranger Things Season 2.
Levy revealed that filming on Season 2 actually began yesterday, November 7th, while also confirming that Netflix gave him and the Duffer Brothers a heads-up about the Season 2 renewal before it was officially announced:
“We were given the wink-wink, ‘You guys should seriously start thinking about what you wanna have happen in Season 2’ before it was announced.”
Levy directed Episodes 3 and 4 of Season 1, mostly due to the fact that the Duffer Brothers hadn’t finished writing the back half of the season yet and needed a break from directing to get those scripts done. But for Season 2, Levy says they’ll be following the same directing formula due to superstition:
“Yes, we are a little superstitious so just like last year, they’re doing 1 and 2, I’m going in and doing 3 and 4. So the first four are gonna kick off exactly the same as last time… I am going to start prepping right around Thanksgiving and I’ll be filming my episodes through December and January.”
Levy also confirmed that production will once again be taking place in Atlanta, adding that they originally had a pretty neat plan to reveal that Millie Brown was returning as Eleven before the casting news leaked:
“We are filming in Atlanta again. I feel like that’s how the Millie Brown thing leaked because someone saw her trick r treating in Atlanta. I was so bummed about that because Netflix had this really clever idea of taking a picture at our table read last week and posting it upside down, which is what we did. But then like two days before our clever idea got to debut, a bunch of places were reporting that Millie was gonna be a part of Season 2.”
As for when Season 2 might debut on Netflix, Levy declined to give a firm timetable but did note that filming just started and Season 2 is one episode longer than Season 1:
“That I can’t say. I do have a sense of it. It was promised when we announced that we were picked up for Season 2 and we gave those chapter headings, I believe it ended with ‘Coming in 2017’ and that much is true. You can do a little bit of math, we’re not magicians so there’s no way it launches in Spring since I just admitted we started filming today, and we’re doing nine.”
So we can reasonably assume it won’t be on Netflix before Season 1’s July debut date, and if I had to guess, I’d say late summer or fall might be a pretty prime spot.