While Stranger Things is undoubtedly the baby of the Duffer Bros., fellow executive producer Shawn Levy, who calls himself their "surrogate older brother," brings his experience to the table. That's especially helpful now, when Stranger Things Season 2 has to battle both a new monster, and the expectations of fans who fell in love with the series last season.
"The pressure is part of our lives now," Levy told Nerdist in an on-camera interview. While they know it's there, they also know they need to simply ignore it to the best of their abilities sometimes. “If we listened to every fan theory or fan request that they want in Season 2, I think we’d probably lose our way. We’re trying to know that balance between expectation and trusting our instincts.”
Luckily, the cast and crew had Comic-Con to check up on how they were doing while in the midst of the editing and post-production process. To say the Hall H crowd enjoyed the trailer, which featured the song Thriller by Michael Jackson and more pop culture references than you could possibly notice in one viewing, would be to severely downplay the reaction.
“It was f***ing electric! As soon as the audience recognized it was "Thriller," you felt that wave wash over. Our actors were right next to us and they hadn’t seen it yet either. It was a great day!”
As for what fans can expect out of Stranger Things Season 2, Levy naturally had to dance around things a bit, though he did give an idea of the tone, and it's going to be a season of television you might want to leave the lights on for.
“The threats, the forces of evil are much, much more complicated and scary. Season 2 overall is more horror genre inspired than Season 1 was. It’s definitely scarier," Levy said. “You saw a bit of the upside-down in the "Thriller" trailer, and something’s up in the sky – he’s probably not coming to shake hands. I will say that he, or she, or it, is not the only force of evil they’re going to have to contend with in Season 2.”
Nerdist had previously posited a theory, based on segments of that trailer, that Will Byers came back from the Upside Down not just changed, but evil. They asked Levy if he's the secret big bad, and he gave a surprisingly blunt answer.
“I can neither confirm or deny that theory. All I’m going to say … between the end of Season 1 and what we’ve seen in the trailers, clearly Will is not right. Stuff happens to him and stuff is happening to him and he is very much at the center of Season 2."
Stranger Things Season 2 debuts worldwide on Netflix Oct. 27, 2017.