Okay, before we take a look at the cast of Netflix's upcoming Stranger Things 4 getting us up-to-speed on where things stand heading into the global phenomenon's penultimate season, a quick rundown of how the fourth season is being broken up in case you missed it. Volume 1 (on May 27) will consist of the first seven episodes, while Volume 2 (on July 1) will run the remaining two episodes, totaling the season's full nine-episode count. Now those nine episodes will account for approximately 13 hours of new content. And why are those final two episodes being held until Volume 2? Because those two chapters clock in at nearly four hours long combined. Just to offer a little perspective on how long the episodes are, S04E07 is 1 hour 38 minutes, S04E08 is around 1 hour 25 minutes, and S04E09 is almost 2-1/2 hours. That's why we're glad the Duffer Bros took some time to discuss why more is definitely better when it comes to Stranger Things 4. But first…
Now here's a look at some very familiar faces offering a (sometimes not so objective) rundown of what went down during the first three seasons of Netflix's Stranger Things:
Speaking of the streaming series' return, Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer explained to Netflix that the scope of the season wasn't something they intentionally planned. "Partway through outlining, we realized we needed another episode. It was originally going to be eight episodes, and we asked Netflix if they would be open to us having another episode, Episode 9. Which they were super supportive of," Matt explained. The same goes with the episodes' lengths, which Matt also sees as a natural evolution for the series. "Looking back on it, it makes sense because Season 3 was pretty light on plot compared to this year," he shared. "It's, like, quadruple the amount of plot. We have more characters, they're spread out and, in order to get across the story that we wanted to but also not lose sight of the characters, to give each character their moment [and] each character relationship the kind of emotional depth it wanted or craved, we just needed the length." With so much going down this season, it took some time for the Duffers to realize just how much time they would need to tell their story, "I was looking back at Season 1, Season 2, and I was like, 'The action was a lot more spread out.' Now, it's crammed together," Matt said. "We didn't fully know how truly long the episodes were until they started to be edited, and then we went, 'Oh.' But I like it now."
How is this for making a point? Only an hour after going over how epic Netflix's Stranger Things 4 is going to be, the streaming service released the first eight minutes as a way of making sure folks understand that when they say epic? They mean righteously epic. In the following scene, it's September 1979 and Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) has a question for Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) that changes everything…
Netflix's Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Brett Gelman (Murray), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), and Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner). Now without further delay, we return you to your continued repeated viewings of the official trailer for the fourth season:
It's been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time — and navigating the complexities of high school hasn't made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
With the tagline, "Every Ending Has a Beginning," the official key art for the fourth season that was previously released began in Russia with a Hopper-Joyce reunion. From there, we see Eleven returning to her worst nightmare in the second key art poster. With the third poster, some familiar faces are investigating the truth behind the murders in the Creel house. While the fourth poster brings us to the Byers' new life in California- one that's about to get majorly upended. Because even though they're all in different parts of the world, there's still something linking them all. And then we received the final poster tying it all together. And now the good news: Stranger Things 4 is coming to you in two parts: Volume 1 premieres May 27 & Volume 2 quickly follows on July 1. The tough news? As The Duffer Bros revealed in a letter below, the series will end with the following fifth season.
Now here's a look at the letter shared by the Duffer Bros announcing the series' end with the fifth season, but teasing that more from the show's universe might be on the way:
Now here's a look at the episode titles for the fourth season, along with the announcement video: S04E01 – "The Hellfire Club"; S04E02 – "Vecna's Curse"; S04E03 – "The Monster and The Superhero"; S04E04 – "Dear Billy"; S04E05 – "The Nina Project"; S04E06 – "The Dive"; S04E07 – "The Massacre at Hawkins Lab"; S04E08 – "Papa"; S04E09 – "The Piggyback":
When the third season wrapped and with Hopper seemingly dead, the Byers and Eleven prepared to leave Hawkins. But as we've already seen and what becomes abundantly clear in the clip below, Hawkins has a reach that extends well beyond Indiana. So as much as Eleven is really looking forward to a great Spring Break with Mike, outside forces might have something to say about that (as you'll see in the following teasers):
Previously, we learned that Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Sweeney Todd), Eduardo Franco (Booksmart, The Binge), and Joseph Quinn (Catherine the Great, Howards End) were joining the cast of Stranger Things as series regulars. Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones), Sherman Augustus (Into the Badlands, Westworld), Mason Dye (Bosch, The Goldbergs), Nikola Djuricko (Genius, In The Land of Blood and Honey), and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise, V) are also joining in recurring roles. In addition, Brett Gelman's Murray Bauman has been promoted to series regular. In addition, Amybeth McNulty (Anne with an E), Myles Truitt (Black Lightning), Regina Ting Chen (Queen of the South), and Grace Van Dien (The Village) have also joined the Stranger Things cast.