‘Stranger Things’ Season 2: James Cameron-Influenced Season Will Revisit the Upside Down

     August 31, 2016


We’re still riding high on the news that Netflix has renewed Stranger Things for a second season, but new details are already emerging from the series’ creators, Matt and Ross Duffer. Now’s a great time for you to get caught up on the first season if you haven’t just yet, because the following news items will be dipping squarely into spoiler territory.

In addition to our own recent interview with the Duffer Bros. and other comments about Season 2 they’ve made in the wake of the premiere season’s success, they also chatted with EW about where the new season will take them. Coming in 2017, the new season will feature new characters and settings as well as a return to Hawkins, IN and the familiar faces we know already. Here’s a look at what we know about Season 2 so far in brief:

  • Stranger Things Season 2 will debut in 2017.
  • Writers/creators Matt and Ross Duffer will return.
  • Nine new episodes are confirmed for the second season.
  • Stranger Things Season 2 will be produced by 21 Laps for Netflix. Executive Producers Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and the Duffer Brothers will all return for the second season.


Image via Netflix

First up, let’s talk about the fact that Season 2 will feature nine episodes rather than the eight seen in Season 1. Matt Duffer had this to say about the number of episodes needed to tell their story:

[E]ven though this show has been successful, there’s no pressure to make it 13 episodes. People say, “They need to make way more episodes,” but I like to think one of the reasons it works for people is because it’s paced and it feels like a movie, and that’s because it’s not too long. I think, if we pushed it to 13 episodes, we’d have to start coming up with all these bullshit adventures they’re going on, that aren’t directly tied to the main tension. Eight felt about right. But if we’re developing Season 2 and it feels like seven or nine or eleven, Netflix would support any of those lengths.

Matt expanded on that comment in his chat with EW:

We’re letting the story dictate it. I think if it gets any longer, it gets unwieldy for us. We want to make sure it’s manageable and we want to be able to tell a movie-like story where it’s never treading water. We want it to have the same feel and pacing as season 1. I think if we extend it too much, it will have a very different feel.


Image via Netflix

With one additional episode to tell Season 2’s story, there’s a little more wiggle room to introduce new characters and settings. Matt said as much when our own Christina Radish talked to him in July:

Yeah, we would introduce some new characters, but follow this group. We fell in love with the kids and all of our actors, so we want to stay with them. And now we know what they’re capable of. I know that I could throw David Harbour the craziest fastball, and he’ll hit it out of the park. I think we’ll have a lot of fun, if they let us do it.

Ross recently confirmed that Season 2 would be a continuation of the current characters’ story, but we’ll also see four new characters:

I don’t think we ever thought anthology. I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade. That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here, there’s still things that are unresolved. We don’t know about Eleven. We leave that up in the air.


Image via Netflix

With the ninth episode of Season 2 titled “The Lost Brother,” perhaps one of those new characters, or a relationship between two characters, will be revealed? Time will tell. As far as the tone and influence of Season 2, expect it to resemble more of a blockbuster sequel, especially like the classic 80s films directed by James Cameron:

“I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different,” explains Matt. “There’s Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

Matt also confirmed that we’ll see more of the greater Hawkins, IN area:

“We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins. I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”


Image via Netflix

This includes a further exploration of the Upside Down:

We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down. So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of season 1.


Ross: We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.

For more on Stranger Things, take a look at our recent write-ups below: