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WIRE Buzz: COVID delay helped Stranger Things 4 scripts. Plus, Star Trek: Discovery begins Season 4 shoot

By Josh Weiss
Stranger Things 3 Millie Bobby Brown

Back in March, production on the fourth season of Stranger Things was shut down over coronavirus concerns. Many hoped (rather foolishly, it now seems) that the hiatus would only last two weeks as the health crisis was contained. Shoots for live-action shows and films ended up being delayed for months and some were scrapped outright. Luckily, the crew behind Stranger Things 4 finally returned to work earlier this month and what's more, they had the benefit of top-notch scripts that had more time to marinate during the last six months of pandemic uncertainty.

“I’ll just say the pandemic definitely massively delayed shooting and therefore the launch of our current Season 4, date still TBD," series executive producer Shawn Levy recently told Collider. "But it impacted very positively by allowing the Duffer brothers, for the first time ever, to write the entire season before we shoot it and to have time to rewrite in a way that they rarely had before so the quality of these screenplays are exceptional, maybe better than ever."

David Harbour Stranger Things

Levy's take on the matter is a sentiment that's been echoed by other key industry players like director Matt Reeves, who used the production hiatus to fine-tune action sequences for The Batman.

Over the summer, the official Twitter account for the Stranger Things writers' room shared a photo of all the Season 4 scripts stacked atop one another. In February of this year (B.C. - Before COVID), Netflix dropped a short teaser trailer that confirmed Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) is still alive and working at a snowy forced labor camp somewhere in the Soviet Union.

Netflix has yet to announced a premiere date or window for Season 4.


Speaking of fourth seasons, Star Trek: Discovery has officially kicked off production for its next season. This was confirmed by co-showrunner Michelle Paradise on Twitter this week. "So proud of our room — breaking and writing from corners, kitchens, garages, & home offices. And our production team - prepping a new season is a lot, esp. in a pandemic," she wrote. "They've done INCREDIBLE work to get us here and keep everyone safe."

The CBS All Access series was just renewed two weeks ago, but Season 4 won't be the end of things, no siree. During a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast, franchise mastermind Alex Kurtzman said that he has a plan to keep the IP chugging along through 2027.

"When I say that, it’s not like it’s set in stone," he said. "It’s just, ‘OK, here’s a plan. Here’s what we’re looking at. Here’s how the different shows are going to drop.’ Consider the fact that it takes a year from inception — from start of production — to airing, so you have to plan way, way, way in advance to get these things done, and you have to stay on top of the zeitgeist and make sure that what you’re doing is relevant."

"I am looking forward to the one thing I always look most forward to when we get to come back for another season of Star Trek: Discovery, and that is to be reunited with my family again, the Trek family, the Discovery family," Doug Jones ("Saru") said in video message when the show was officially renewed.


Looks like David Duchovny may not have retired the role of FBI Agent Mulder for good just yet. If television creator Chris Carter ever asked him to come back for more X-Files goodness, he'd probably say yes. "Chris is a good friend and I’d be there for him, whatever he wanted," the actor told Denmark's Kino TV.

While Duchovny admitted that he hasn't given much thought to the show in a while, he did go on to say that the concept is just too good to ignore. "I’ve always thought it was such a great idea, that somebody’s eventually going to pick it up again. And I don’t know if I’ll be a part of that, but ... think it’s a great frame, it’s a great world. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t actively think about [it]," he added.

"I always thought there would even more X-Files, but when Gillian [Anderson] decided very late into the shooting of the season 11 finale, I didn't realize there wouldn't be more X-Files," Carter said on a podcast earlier this month. "And so, those stories — Skinner's story and the William story and the Mulder and Scully story — were still unresolved. I thought I would be able to resolve them, so I'm sorry that I wasn't able to do that ... Being that Gillian has decided to move on with her career, we certainly couldn’t do Mulder and Scully again. But that’s not to say there isn’t another way to do The X-Files. And so right now, I think the future is unwritten."

In late August, Fox announced that it was developing a comedy-centric animated spinoff, à la Star Trek: Lower Decks

"I've always wanted to do an animated project and this seemed like an interesting opportunity," Carter said on the podcast. "It's still in the development phase right now. I haven't read a script and so, it's really hard for me to say what my involvement will be, but I know this: It needs to be funny."