Earlier this month, Ross Duffer & Matt Duffer (The Duffer Brothers) not only dropped some important intel on the final season of their Netflix series, but they also revealed the title of the first episode of Stranger Things 5. Not exactly a bad way to kick off the month for fans. Now, we're getting a chance to hear from series mainstay David Harbour, who is set to have a very busy 2023. Because along with filming the series' final run, Harbour is also set to reprise his role as Red Guardian for Marvel Studios' Thunderbolts film, which means dueling filming schedules next year. "Yeah, next year is going to be a very tough year for me schedule-wise," Harbour revealed during a recent interview with Collider. And though he believes "it's going to be crazy," Harbour has something going for him to get through it. "They are two things that I love. I love both characters very much," he shared.
Harbour's Preparing for An MCU/Upside Down Commuting Schedule: "It's going to have to be a back-and-forth with me. They're going to have to sort of share me. And so it is kind of like, I don't know exactly how they're working it, but it's a week on, week off, two weeks on, two weeks off, something like that where I would go back and forth. They both are being shot in Atlanta. That may have also been structured in a certain way, but yes, it is helpful. So I can just literally shoot a scene in 'Stranger Things' and get in my car and run over to the Marvel scene to shoot a scene there, maybe."
As for Hooper & Red Guardian's Different Looks, Harbour Says "Think Strategically": "Hopefully, the idea will be because of these limitations, you have to shoot these two characters back-to-back, you [can] use that as inspiration. It's like, what can I do that'll be really cool for Hopper and really cool for Alexei, that's going to be able to do these things in tandem, and I'm going to try to get real creative, we're all going to try to get real creative about it and come up with something real cool. But it definitely is a factor. You don't have just blank slate creativity. You have to think strategically."
Matt & Ross Duffer Talks Stranger Things 5
Ross Offers a Season 5 Script Update: "We turned in the first script a couple of weeks ago, and we're onto the second. It's full steam ahead."
Ross on Having "Quite a Bit More" of the "Overall Plan" & "Backstory" to Reveal: "I remember season one, we were just amazed that Netflix was letting us do this at all, but season two was when we really, with the writers, we developed an overall plan and a backstory for all of this and make sure that, with the Upside Down, everything about what it was." Though the fourth season offered quite a few answers, Ross says "we do have quite a bit more to get in. But just as important as the supernatural, we have so many characters now – most who are still living – and it's important to wrap up those arcs. A lot of these characters have been growing since season one, so it's a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up loose ends and doing our final reveals."
Matt on Making Netflix Execs Cry During 2-Hour Final Season Pitch Meeting: "We did get our executives to cry, which I felt was a good sign that these executives were crying. The only other times I've seen them cry were like budget meetings [crowd laughs]."
Season 5 Does Right by "The Lifeblood of 'Stranger Things'" – Levy: "As a witness and having been in that two-hour pitch room and having read this first script – I'm paralyzed with fear that I'll spoil anything, but I will say the thing about these Duffer Brothers is that even though the show has gotten so famous and the characters have gotten so iconic, and there's so much about the '80s and the supernatural and the genre, it's about these people, it's about these characters. Season five is already so clearly taking care of these stories of the characters because that's always been the lifeblood of 'Stranger Things.'"
Season 5 Will Be "A Culmination" of Previous Seasons' Pop Culture Themes/References – Ross: The final season will be "a culmination of all of the seasons, so it's sort of got a little bit from each, whereas before each season was so distinctly – three, this is our big summer blockbuster season with our big monster; four was the psychological horror. I think that what we're trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit in the tone of [season] one, but scale-wise it's more in line with what [season] four is. Hopefully, it's got a little bit of everything."