We’re still a long way off from Stranger Things season 3, and Netflix is being mighty coy about what we might see happen in Hawkins, Indiana when it does drop, but there’s still a tiny bit of intel coming your way.
Netflix has confirmed that the show will start production in April, which lines up with comments from David Harbour – who plays Jim Hopper – that Stranger Things season 3 would “probably” land in 2019. But here’s the bigger thing Netflix confirmed: the season will be eight episodes long.
That’s one episode shorter than season 2. Whether or not this is related to the weirdly controversial filler episode The Lost Sister is up for debate. That was the ep in which Eleven went to Chicago to find her psychic ‘sister’ who grew up in the same lab she did. It was a pretty interesting John Carpenter / 80s sci-fi pastiche when looked at in isolation, but many people found it to be way too jarring and differently paced to the rest of the season. Besides, when you stop the main action for an entire episode of a limited series, people are always annoyed.
Co-showrunner Matt Duffer already confirmed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Stranger Things season 3 will take place in 1985, skipping a year ahead from the end of the last season. He said it was in no small part because of the simple fact that their stars are children and they are growing up pretty quickly:
Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t. Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season 3. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season 2 ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.
Ah well. Time to hold onto your butts for the next year.