Stranger Things Season 3: Release Date And Everything We Know So Far
By Dan Auty on
Stranger Things didn't have a huge amount of build-up when it first appeared on Netflix in 2016, but it quickly became a must-see phenomenon. The '80s-set sci-fi/horror drama wore its influences proudly on its sleeve, but the calibre of writing, acting, and directing meant that it was much more than just a nostalgic reminder of why the work of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg remains so popular. It was funny, scary, thrilling, and heartfelt, and its success ensured that creators Ross and Matt Duffer returned for more seasons.
Season 2 in 2017 was every bit as good as the first, and managed to find new ways to scare and thrill while still delivering everything fans loved about Season 1. By this point, several of the cast had become stars in their own right--Finn Wolfhard was one of the main stars of the horror smash It, Millie Bobby Brown appears in the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and David Harbour went from supporting actor to a leading man--we'll see him next year as Hellboy in the much-anticipated reboot.
With the release of a new teaser trailer and poster in early January, we now know the Stranger Things Season 3 release date is set for July 4, 2019. While specific plot details are, unsurprisingly, unknown, we do know quite a bit about the direction this next season will take the show in. So here's everything we know so far about Stranger Things Season 3 ...
1. Episode Titles
Earlier this month, a new teaser for Season 3 was released. While it didn't contain any new footage, it did reveal the titles for the season's eight episodes. They are:
- Suzie, Do You Copy?
- The Mall Rats
- The Case of the Missing Life Guard
- The Sauna Test
- The Source
- The Birthday
- The Bite
- The Battle of Starcourt
2. The Gang Are Back
Unsurprisingly, most of the main cast are back for Season 3. The main kids are all in there, so that means Mike (Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Max (Sadie Sink). There's also teenage lovelorn teenagers Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and Steve (Joe Keery), plus Will and Jonathan's mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) and everyone's favorite small-town cop, Jim Hopper (David Harbour). Sadly though, it doesn't look like Barb or Bob are going to make miraculous returns from the grave for this season.
3. New Faces
There are, of course, some new additions to the ensemble. In keeping with the tradition of casting actors who became famous in the '80s (Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, Paul Reiser, Sean Astin), Princess Bride star Cary Elwes is joining as Mayor Kline, a sleazy politician described as being "more concerned with his own image than with the people of the small town he governs."
There's also the offspring of some '80s stars. Jake Busey, son of Point Break star Gary Busey, will play a journalist named Bruce, while Maya Thurman-Hawke (daughter of Uma and Ethan) is set to play a character named Robin.
4. Class Of 1985
Like Season 2, the next season of Stranger Things will be a set a full year after the previous one. That takes us up to 1985, the year of Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, and Like a Virgin.
5. School's Out
While the previous two seasons revolved around the gang’s life at school, Season 3 will be set during the summer vacation. In an interview with Variety, producer Shawn Levy stated that the new episodes were "about the swimming pools and campfires and parades and Fourth of July and fireworks. There's kind of a poppy fun to Season 3 that's really enjoyable before things inevitably turn super dark."
6. Starcourt Mall
We know that Hawkins, Indiana, has a new shopping mall, and that it will play a big part in Season 3. Back in July, a first teaser for the new season was released--it was a fake promo for Starcourt Mall, and included cameos from Steve and Robin, who are working in an ice cream parlour. Two of the episode titles refer to the mall, including the season finale: "The Battle of Starcourt."
7. Flaying Again
Season 2 might have come to a happy ending, but the giant tentacled entity known as the Mind Flayer (aka the Shadow Monster) is still out there, looming large above Hawkins. While we don't know exactly the role it will play in Season 3, according to Levy, it's definitely coming back. "We ended season two with a clear signal that the Shadow Monster was not eliminated, and maybe he's even identified his foe," he said. "And that darkness, and the battle that it will require, grows in Season 3."
Whatever happens however, we know that poor Will won’t be the central target for the show’s scary threats. "We're going to give Will a break," Levy said. "We're not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row."
Stranger Things takes its inspiration from lots of different places, and it sounds like Season 3 will up the horror content. In the Stranger Things companion book Worlds Turned Upside Down, Ross Duffer stated that legendary horror directors such as John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and George Romero will all have an influence on the new season, which he describes as "the grossest" to date. However, according to David Harbour, there will also be an influence from a more unexpected place--the classic Chevy Chase comedy Fletch, which is what.
9. Changing Times
Kids grow up quickly, and Season 3 will have some big changes for the young heroes of Stranger Things, especially with romance in the air for several of them. As Ross Duffer explained in Worlds Turned Upside Down: "It's really the final summer of their childhood. They're dealing with growing up, with these complicated new relationships. They're starting to fall apart a little bit, and maybe they don't love playing Dungeons & Dragons as much as they used to. Naturally, that's going to generate conflict."
10. Bigger And Better
One of the reasons that we didn't get Season 3 in 2018 was the scale of the production. In an interview with Deadline, Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland revealed that the season would have "more special effects." She stated that the Duffer brothers “want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so they really want to take the time to get it right.” Sounds like it’ll be worth the wait.
11. Will There Be A Season 4?
Stranger Things is definitely coming back for a fourth season, and possibly a fifth. Initially the Duffers were planning to stop at four, but Levy subsequently revealed that Season 5 would probably happen too. However, it's sounds unlikely that it will go beyond that point. "I think there's going to come a point where [it's like], why aren't these people leaving Hawkins?" Ross Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. "Like we're going to stretch credibility."