Stranger Things is one of Netflix's most popular original series, but so much time has passed since the release of Season 3 back in July 2019 that several other series have become smash hits and dominated the streamer. With more than two years since the third season finale cliffhanger, only a couple of teasers' worth of footage, repeated delays, and no confirmation of when it will premiere, fans haven't had too much to go on. Now, however, executive producer Shawn Levy has dropped some exciting comments that raise the question: could Season 4 premiere with new cast members earlier than we thought?
Shawn Levy, who has worked with the Duffer Brothers to bring Stranger Things to Netflix from the very first season, recently acknowledged the long wait in an interview with Variety, along with some seeming hints that might get fans excited:
To state the incredibly obvious, it’s been way, way, way, way too long, and it’s coming.
Stranger Things fans may never agree on absolutely everything when it comes to the twists, turns, characters, and relationships of the series, but I think we can all agree with Shawn Levy that it has been "way, way, way too long" since any new episodes of Stranger Things have released. Of course, the promise of "it's coming" might come across as somewhat generic... if not for what else Levy had to say:
It’s coming soon enough. And as for when exactly that will be announced — quite soon.
Two uses of "soon" are enough to get me twice as excited at the prospect of Stranger Things Season 4 coming in the foreseeable future! Any fans who thought that Stranger Things might release the premiere date back on July 4 to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Season 3 unfortunately had those hopes dashed, but perhaps a date will come sooner rather than later. If in fact there's still a chance of a 2021 release, then I'm guessing that the premiere date announcement isn't too terribly far off.
And in the grand scheme of things, the delays in Stranger Things being ready to premiere the fourth season are nobody's fault. The same pandemic precautions that brought much of the broadcast television industry to a standstill in 2020 meant that Stranger Things had to halt production as well, and work did continue on Season 4 scripts even when filming couldn't pick up again.
Shawn Levy promised a season that is "very ambitious" both visually and narratively, even more than the first three seasons, then explained:
The delay is due in large measure to COVID and the pace at which we have to work to do so safely, but it also happens to be the season that we chose to go much bigger. It’s the scale of this season and the multi-settings of Season 4.
Season 4 filmed in Georgia, Lithuania, and New Mexico, so even if the post-credits sequence of Season 3 and the teaser for Hopper in Russia hadn't already proved that Stranger Things won't be just in Hawkins anymore, the shooting locations certainly would. Shawn Levy also spoke of filming in the past tense, so fans really might want to start counting on his promise of "soon."
As for when the premiere date could be – if Stranger Things is going to debut Season 4 in 2021, then my guess is either mid-to-late October to be timed to Halloween, or at some point in November in honor of Eleven. At the very least, I don't expect Netflix to release it in December, as The Witcher Season 2 will be the streamer's big-ticket original series to end the year.
All of this said, there is no guarantee that Netflix will launch Season 4 in 2021, so we can only wait and see. A 2022 premiere certainly isn't out of the question. For now, you can always watch and rewatch the first three seasons of Stranger Things streaming on Netflix, and prepare for plenty of other shows returning to television and streaming in the coming months.