A wall covered with letters started bulging and counting down as lights flickered across Hall H. No, the screen wasn’t possessed and the electricity was fine — it just meant it was time for the Stranger Things panel at 2017’s Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The highly anticipated second season drops October 27, 2017 on the Netflix streaming service just in time for Halloween. The panel began with clips recapping the first season before moderator Patton Oswalt came to the stage and promised Stranger Things footage that no one has ever seen.
First to come out on the panel were creators Matt and Ross Duffer as well as Executive Producer Shawn Levy, and Matt Duffer said that the inspiration behind Stranger Things would have been the ultimate film.
“What would be the ultimate movie? Spielberg directing a beefy Stephen King book with a John Carpenter soundtrack,” Matt Duffer said.
When Shawn Levy was first presented with the Stranger Things script, he could tell it was something great. “I knew that this combination of an 80’s backdrop, genre and character authenticity was going to be something special,” he shared. They continued by discussing the look and feel of the show, including the font choice for the opening titles and the synthesized sound heard on the series.
Cast members were then brought out to thundering applause, including David Harbour (Chief Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Mararazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Matthew Modine (Martin Brenner), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), and Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler). Oswalt had some fun with “Finn Wolfhard”’s pornstar-like name, inspiring some back and forth wwith the young actor.
Some highlights from the pamel:
Noah Schnapp says that Will will show more bravery in Season 2, and “you’ll learn how the Upside Down affected Will.” Beyond that, though, he was limited as to what he could say, because spoilers.
- Finn Wolfhard doesn’t think Mike realizes that he’s smarter than the rest of the kids. “I think he’s oblivious to everything,” he said.
- Here’s a secret: Caleb McLaughlin wasn’t always a master of a slingshot. The young actor held it wrong in the beginning, so he had to teach himself how to do it right, with the help of the Duffers to learn how to do it right.
- It takes time for Millie Bobby Brown to get in the zone of crying, but it gets easier. What might not be so easy is the influence from her young co-stars “It’s hard to keep a straight face with teen boys because they play pranks and they tell a lot of jokes when I’m doing an emotional scene.”
- The actors playing new Season 2 characters then came out – Billy, Max’s older stepbrother as played by Dacre Montgomery; Max aka “Mad Max” as played by Sadie Sink; and Dr. Owens who will be played by Paul Reiser.
- David Harbour asked the audience if they’re ready for a trailer. You can imagine the response. You can see the trailer here. The reaction to the trailer seemed to echo the reaction to Season 1, with fans particularly being responsive to 1980’s references and the first sighting of Eleven in the reel.
- “Dropping a little bit of spice is an honor. It’s been a lot of fun,” Dacre Montgomery says about what he’ll add to the show.
“I come in from the government to clean Brenner’s mess, and certain things happen,” Paul Reiser said of his character.
- Newcomer Sadie Sink already knew her costars Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo, as they worked on Broadway together. Her character “Mad Max” moves to town with question.
- A surprise guest started the Q&A with a question for the cast, asking if Barb would be in Stranger Things Season 2. The question came from Shannon Purser, the actress who played Barb, who was able to go to the podium on stage to ask the question to her former co-stars. Alas, it’s not happening. “But it would be Justice for Barb,” David Harbour said. “Barb will be avenged.”
Click here to watch the new Stranger Things Season 2 trailer, and to catch up on all of our SDCC coverage, click here.