Stranger Things, the hugely-popular Netflix show that made household names of its teenage stars, has been renewed for a fourth season, People reports. Season 4 promises to take viewers outside the confines of Hawkins, Indiana, the town where the majority of the action of the first three seasons took place.
In a statement, Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, said that the streaming service is keen to continue its relationship with the Duffer Brothers, the two filmmakers whose 1980s nostalgia hit has become one of Netflix' most talked-about and most-streamed original shows.
"We're thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love," Sarandos said.
The brothers, for their part, are equally excited about continuing their partnership.
"We can't wait to tell many more stories together — beginning, of course, with a return trip to Hawkins!" the filmmakers said in a statement.
As it turns out, however Stranger Things Season 4 — parts of it anyway — may take place outside of Hawkins, the fictional Indiana town that is the home of Will, Dustin, Mike, Lucas, El(even), and the rest of the ever-expanding cast. Sarandos teased that the next season will not only reveal what is going on "beyond the Upside Down" (where "Upside Down" refers to the netherworld that takes place in an alternate dimension similar to the dimension the characters occupy), but may also reveal events taking place outside of Hawkins, as you can see in this teaser trailer below.Hawkins, the tight-knit Midwestern community that was something of a metaphor for small-town America in the '80s, has been as much a character on the show as the regular cast. Indeed, but for a handful of scenes in and around nearby Chicago, almost none of the show has taken place outside the confines of the town and surrounding woods and farms.
Warning: The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Season 3 of Stranger Things.
However, Season 3 brought in a new set of characters: Russians, who were trying to access the supernatural source of power underneath Hawkins that has bedeviled the main characters since the first episode of Season 1. And in a post-credits scene at the end of the final episode of Season 3, guards at a Russian prison fed a prisoner to a being from the Upside Down.
So does this mean that parts of Season 4 will take place in Russia? So far, Netflix isn't saying anything. Similarly, David Harbour, whose character Chief Hopper seemingly died at the end of Season 3 (or did he??), was circumspect about whether or not he'd be involved in the series going forward.
"We'll have to see what happens moving forward. I don't really know. The Duffers, I do believe, have a plan, but we'll have to see what they have in mind."Spoilers Over
Other issues the fourth season will have to deal with include the aging main cast. The four teens began as precocious pre-adolescents, and by Season 3 had moved on into full-blown teenagers, dealing with the issues of teenager-hood, such as relationship drama, as well as the loss of innocence that comes with the transition from childhood to adolescence. By the time Season 4 begins filming, the four main teens could very well be old enough to drive.
As of this writing, no official start date for Season 4 has been announced.