Despite being a self-confessed “trifecta of spoiler risks” at a recent Stranger Things panel, three of the Netflix juggernaut’s creatives refrained from turning the upcoming Season 3 completely upside down to shake the whole plot loose.
Instead, Eleven actor Millie Bobby Brown, along with Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) and show director Shawn Levy (who made the “trifecta” remark) focused on Season 3’s overall vibe, without giving anything away.
Brown, whom fans are getting to see grow alongside Eleven with each passing season, said she’s incorporating acting chops she picked up shooting past episodes into her character’s newly-liberated arc for her third trip to Hawkins. “It’s a beautiful storyline for Eleven this season,” Brown told Variety. It’s really a coming of age for her and understanding what being a normal teenage girl is.”
Later, for a panel audience alongside Schnapp and Levy, Brown elaborated — a little. “I found another side of my acting that I didn’t know about,” she said, via Variety. “I found techniques on how to cry and how to get angry, and I learned so much from Eleven, from those episodes of being isolated, that when I’m back Season 3, things happen — stranger things happen.”
Describing Season 1 as light and Season 2 as, well, heavy, Schnapp — who didn’t get much Season 1 screen time, even though Will’s name was always on everyone’s lips — said Season 3 is shaping up to deliver a nice combination of the two vibes, mixing whimsy and wallop into a run of episodes that will carve out their own fresh identity.
“Season 1, I feel like, was more playful. Season 2 was a lot darker,” he said. “And then Season 3 does really well blending them together, and that’s what I love about it.”
A generous batch of cast newcomers is also on deck for Season 3, including Cary Elwes as the mayor of Hawkins, Maya Thurman Hawke as a mysterious “alternative girl,” and Francesca Reale as Heather, a local swimming pool lifeguard. Priah Ferguson’s endearingly sassy Erica, little sister (and eternal source of irritation) to Lucas, is reportedly getting a greatly expanded role as well.
While any fresh Stranger Things news gets our attention, we’ve gotta admire the creative team’s restraint — especially if their excitement about how things are going has them dying to say more. Development of Season 3 kicked off back in April, but we’re still waiting here on the safe side of the Netflix portal for a solid word on when the new eight-episode cycle will land.