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No one but Netflix and the small creative team behind Stranger Things knows exactly when the series will come to an end. But with Season 4 eyeing a 2022 release and fan speculation shifting toward a distant endgame for the Hawkins gang, the idea of an approaching TV future that doesn’t include the Upside Down is slowly starting to seem scarier than a Demogorgon on the loose.
Netflix hasn’t dropped any hints about how life in the Stranger Things lore-verse might continue on after the iconic series finally runs its course. But executive producer Shawn Levy says it’s a topic that’s on the mind of everyone involved in making the show, from himself to show creators the Duffer Brothers to the higher-ups at Netflix. After all, it’s hard to walk away for good from one of the streaming platform’s most successful series — even if the known blueprint for how things will turn out only extends to the edges of the main show itself.
Speaking recently with Collider, Levy (who also directs a pair of episodes every season) was super-cautious when addressing the possibility of one or more Stranger Things spinoffs. But, he confessed, discussions of pursuing future spinoff stories in the show's topsy-turvy sci-fi lore-verse are “not non-existent.”
“…What’s been made clear is there is an interest and a real voracious appetite for any offshoot, any other iteration format or extension of the franchise, the characters, the mythology,” Levy said. “Certainly those conversations are hardly evolved, but they're also not non-existent,” he added, cautioning that all this spinoff talk — at least for now, is just that: talk: “And you cannot take those words and turn it into a headline, that's like 'Stranger Things, executive producer, Shawn Levy confirmed spinoff' because I didn't do that.”
Netflix has remained mum on how far Stranger Things might extend beyond the upcoming fourth season, so it’s still early days for talk of any possible spinoffs that could come after. But Levy emphasized that the series’ success with viewers plays a big role in shaping creative decisions about whether — and where — to take it in the more distant future.
“I'd say what's been made clear is this is obviously a tent pole, arguably the tent pole franchise in the history of Netflix,” Levy said. “Obviously certain other shows played key roles in their evolution, but Stranger Things with 196 million viewers over the time that we've been on the air, that's a lot of households, 196 million.”
Back on the known side of the Upside Down, Stranger Things is definitely coming back in 2022 for a fourth batch of episodes that Levy described as “by far, far, far, the most ambitious of the seasons” to date. And star David Harbour (Chief Hopper) hinted last month that he’s already been kicking around ideas with the Duffer Brothers over how his character might evolve into a (yet unannounced) Season 5.
Beyond that, though, Stranger Things’ potential spinoff plans (as well as an overall season count for the main series, for that matter) remain as mysterious as the shady supernatural dealings in the underground bowels of Hawkins National Laboratory. Catch up on the first three seasons now at Netflix, as we await word on a firm arrival date next year for Stranger Things 4.