The creators of Stranger Things can see at least two more seasons of the series in our future, according to executive producer and director Shawn Levy.
The hit Netflix supernatural series begins shooting its third season this week, and while we still have no idea exactly when we'll get to see the new episodes, fans are already wondering just how much time they'll end up spending with the kids of Hawkins, Indiana, and the threats that wait in the Upside Down. Once upon a time, we didn't even know if a second season of the series was in the cards, but now that the show is a massive and acclaimed hit for its streaming home, the question is less about whether the show has a future and more about just how much of a future its creators want to ensure for it.
Speaking with Collider about the future of the series, Levy confirmed that while no firm structure is in place yet, ideas for a fourth season are already floating around to the point that he's comfortable guaranteeing it will happen.
"I mean, I will say we have a good sense of stuff that happens in Season 4. Season 4 is definitely happening. There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one; that’s currently undecided," Levy said. "And what I would just say is part of the chaos and fun of this particular show is that while the Duffers and the writers’ room and we producers outline the entire season, the Duffers really use the writing process to revisit, reassess, and question all of their prior assumptions. So even though we always start off with a good sense of the major arcs of the season, we’re always ready for shifts and surprises, because if the Duffers stumble into a different or surprising inspiration while they rewrite the script, we’re going to follow that inspiration and throw out some ideas in order to embrace some new ones that are more exciting. And I have no doubt that Season 3 will be no exception.”
Speaking of those "shifts and surprises," Levy clarified that while production is kicking off and a table read for Season 3 has already taken place, that doesn't mean that co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer have finished their work in the writers' room. As has become a Stranger Things tradition, Levy will direct the third and fourth episodes of the third season, while the Duffers are likely to direct the first and second. This shift is to allow the co-creators to head off and finish scripting the season while Levy is in charge of continuing the shoot.
"I’m once again directing the third and fourth episodes so that I can give the Duffers a breather, and send them back into the writing cave, so that they can buff out the rest of the season. That’s why I took on these episodes in Season 1, and now the three of us are just a little too superstitious to mess with what’s worked so far," Levy said. "The prep beyond that, it’s really a similar juggling act where the Duffers, because they always understandably want to direct the kickoff episodes, they have to juggle their limited time between writing and rewriting and prepping as directors, all at the same time.”
So, even as the show expands its cast and its mythology heading into Season 3, the formula for Stranger Things' success remains the same in many ways, including a slightly uncertain future. Even within the confines of production on a single season, Stranger Things can change focus and evolve its themes as writing on the latter episodes continues, which means what's planned for Season 4 now might not be the same thing that's planned by the time production comes to an end. The only thing that feels absolutely certain about the show is that Netflix and its customers can't wait for Stranger Things 3 to arrive.
Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2 are now streaming on Netflix.