At first, the prospect of producer-director Shawn Levy crafting an ode to the supernatural films of the 1980s in the guise of a Netflix series, called Stranger Things, didn’t sound particularly appetizing to me. The man behind the Google commercial that is The Internship, as well as all three Night at the Museum films, never struck me as a filmmaker that could quite lock onto the magic that was golden-era Spielberg, with its unhinged imagination, vivid sense of character, and wondrous dramatic pull.
The first trailer for Stranger Things, however, goes a long way toward bolstering my anticipation for the show, which centers on the disappearance of a young boy during a paranormal event and the subsequent search for him spearheaded by his mother (Winona Ryder). Considering that this comes from the same mind as Wayward Pines, there’s a chance that there could be a bit too much story here, but the imagery looks evocative, moody, and quite alluring from off the bat. Come July 15th, we’ll know just how serious Levy is about his nostalgia for movies like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Here’s the trailer for Stranger Things:
Here’s how Netflix’s press release described the series:
Set in Hawkins Indiana in the 1980’s, Stranger Things chronicles the search for a young boy who vanishes into thin air under highly suspicious circumstances. His mother (Winona Ryder) opens an investigation into the boy’s disappearance with local authorities that unravels a series of mysteries involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. A love letter to the ubiquitous cult classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is also a coming of age story for the boy’s three closest friends that draws them into a world where mysteries lurk beneath the surface.
Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Charlie Heaton, and Matthew Modine.
Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (Wayward Pines, Hidden) serve as writer, directors and co-showrunners of the series, and are executive producers along with Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen via their 21 Laps entertainment banner (The Spectacular Now, Night At The Museum, Real Steel, Date Night). Shawn Levy also serves as director. Stranger Things is a Netflix production.
Here’s the poster for the series: