Stranger Things 4 Keeps Feeling More & More Like A 2022 Debut

So are the signs pointing at Netflix's Stranger Things returning in 2022 and not this year? Two things happened over the past several days that seem to point in that direction- but first, a little recent history. Late last month, Gaten Matarazzo offered a heads up that production on the new season was still rolling along but that COVID-related changes to filming have made it tough to predict when the season would hit screens. Then earlier this month, David Harbour checked in from set via Instagram Stories in Hopper garb (eventually calling Millie Bobby Brown) to offer another update on production.

stranger things
Stranger Things (Image: Netflix)

Now that we're all caught up, here's what else has happened since then. First, Finn Wolfhard told a fan in a Fanmio video that circulated on social media that it was looking more like 2022. Again, not an official confirmation but definitely worth heavy consideration considering the source. Then on Tuesday, Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced during the streaming service's investor video for its first-quarter financial results that Cobra Kai, The Witcher, and You would be returning with new seasons during Q4 2021- notice what wasn't mentioned? That said, a show as internationally powerful as Stranger Things doesn't need much lead time to get the word out, especially considering it's still only April 2021. But with filming still underway and the potential time needed for post-production, the following year feels more and more realistic. Plus, if Netflix can have shows like You, Cobra Kai, The Witcher, Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, and more between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 then that would position them nicely to take on Disney's upcoming "Star Wars" and Marvel Studios slate.

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) are joining the cast 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 joining the season in recurring roles. In addition, Brett Gelman's Murray Bauman has been promoted to series regular.

With a fourth season that finds "a new horror is beginning to surface, something long-buried, something that connects everything," here's a look at who's playing who- offering clues to not just where our heroes stand since we last saw them but also to where the action will be taking place this season (including a psychiatric hospital). Bower plays Peter Ballard, a caring man who works as an orderly at the psychiatric hospital. Tired of the brutality he witnesses day after day, Peter feels compelled to take a stand- but will he? Englund's Victor Creel is a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s. As for what's going on with Hopper over in Russia, Wlaschiha's Dmitri is a Russian prison guard who befriends Hopper: smart, cunning, and charming- but can he be trusted? Djuricko's Yuri is a seedy and unpredictable Russian smuggler who loves bad jokes, cold hard cash, and crunchy style peanut butter.

Quinn's Eddie Munson is an audacious 80's metalhead who runs The Hellfire Club, Hawkins High's official D&D club. Hated by those who don't understand him — and beloved by those who do — Eddie will find himself at the terrifying epicenter of this season's mystery. Meanwhile, Franco's Argyle is a fun-loving stoner who proudly delivers delicious pizza pies for Surfer Boy Pizza- and Jonathan's (Charlie Heaton) new best friend. Augustus' Lt. Colonel Sullivan is an intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he knows how to stop the evil in Hawkins once and for all (uh-oh), while Dye's Jason Carver is living the life of the handsome, rich, sports star who's dating the most popular girl in school. That is until a new evil threatening Hawkins turns everyone's world upside down.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.