Stranger Things 2 wrapped up with Eleven safe and sound in Hawkins after closing the gate that leads into the Upside Down and suffering a massive double nose bleed as a result (someone please check her iron levels). But, if you watched the final moments of the season, it's clear that the Upside Down is still very much out there—and will doubtless make a sinister return in Season 3.
Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers have confirmed that a third season is in fact in the works, and here's what we know so far.
Obviously, not too much is known about the plot of Stranger Things 3. But judging from this quote from Ross Duffer, it'll take place in Hawkins: "If we're able to, there will be at least four, there could be more. I think there's going to come a point where why aren't these people leaving Hawkins? Like we're going to stretch credibility. It wasn't intended to be a seven-season thing."
We also know that there will be a full year time jump between Season 2 and Season 3 thanks to Matt Duffer telling The Hollywood Reporter: "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 three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show."
When it comes to the Mind Flayer (AKA the spider-like monster from Season 2), don't expect too many answers: "We have our Upside Down document which describes its rules and its mythology in quite a bit of detail, but I think we're just going to slowly parse that out, and maybe not even fully use all of it."
That said, the Mind Flayer now knows that Eleven exists (and that she has powers), so she'll likely become a target, per the Duffers: "They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows that she’s out there."
We also know that there other children like Eleven wandering around the United States with casual super-skills. This season we met Eight, and we can expect to meet more random numbers in future seasons. "I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," says executive producer Shawn Levy.
In other news, don't expect Season 3 to spotlight Will (bless his poor heart), as Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter, "Maybe now we're going to give him a break." Don't know about you, but we'd love to see this season focus on Lucas. Or his amazing sister.
Okay, so, Stranger Things 3 probably *won't* come out in time for Halloween 2019, based on this quote from Ross Duffer about Season 2: "I remember we just had a meeting with Netflix and we were just doing the math of how long it took to make Season 1 and how long it would take to get Season 2 out. Obviously we all wanted it as fast as possible, but we were unable to get it within a year."
Using #math, we can deduce that a third season of Stranger Things would likely come out in 2019, which is SO FAR AWAY. The first season dropped in July 2016, and Season 2 came out in October 2017—which is 15 months. Fifteen months from now is January 2019.
During MarieClaire.com's interview with Sadie Sink, we learned that filming Stranger Things 2 took a solid eight months. The cast is still doing press, so it's unlikely that Netflix secretly started production on the second season without telling anyone.
You can expect Stranger Things' core cast to return for Season 3, and will be especially thrilled to know that fan-favorite Priah Ferguson (who plays Erica Sinclair) will be in the show next season—with a bigger role. "There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3," Ross Duffer said. "That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story already going. 'We got to use more Erica'—that was one of the first things we said in the writers' room."
We'll also see more of Billy, Max's evil step-brother who has a passion for denim and mullets: "I can't speak for anybody else, [but] because of this big cliffhanger for Billy, there were a lot of discussions about a continuation and a past," Dacre Montgomery told PopSugar. "Like, where he's come from came later in the game, and then, where he's going became a discussion near the end of filming, for sure."
When it comes to new blood, the Duffers seem hesitant to cast too many more people for Season 3: "We started introducing these characters, whether it was Bob or Kali or Billy and Max, but we already had so many characters, and then you fall in love with new people like Erica, who plays Lucas’ sister, and it really becomes this balancing act of making sure everyone gets their time. We want to continue to develop the characters that we already have come to know and love, so I think that’s what we’re figuring out moving into Season 3: What do we have time for, and can we also get to know our characters better who have been there with us since the beginning?"