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Warning: spoilers ahead for the Stranger Things season 4 finale.
If you are anything like me, Stranger Things has consumed your every thought since the release of the season 4 finale last week.
Once again, the show's creators, The Duffer brothers, have left fans reeling for more after the climactic ending, and we have lots of questions that demand answers.
Why could Eleven not reach Max? What happened to Vecna? How is Will still connected to the Upside Down?
Fortunately, David Harbour, who plays Officer Jim Hopper in the show, has offered us a flickering Christmas light at the end of the tunnel, suggesting that season 5 could begin filming next year.
In an interview with GQ, Harbour said “I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year... So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record.”
This was confirmed by The Duffer brothers in an interview with Collider.
They said: “We're going to take a little vacation in July. And then we're going to come back. I know that the writer's room is going to start in that first week of August.”
The latest season took nearly three years to complete, both due to the impacts of Covid-19 running rampant on the film and television industry, and, of course, the fact that this season was essentially the length of nine feature films.
Given that the series only continues to grow in ambition and scale, fans can likely expect nothing short of the cinematic spectacle we received with season 4, however, details of the season 5 plot remain uncertain.
The one thing fans know for sure is that there will be a time jump between season 4 and 5, to account for the growing age gap between the characters and their real-life actors.
With the release of the final season officially on the way, now might be the time to begin preparing emotionally, with Harbour even teasing that season five may not be the end of our emotionally-exhausting Stranger Things ride.
“I think as soon as the show ends, or maybe six months before it ends,” Harbour said. “You’ll be hearing about whatever spin-offs they have planned.”
Until then, a whole series rewatch might be in order.