When Stranger Things at last returns on Friday, May 27, it will be doing so in a big huge ginormous way: Part 1 of the Netflix hit’s long-awaited Season 4 will include seven of the nine super-sized episodes, TVLine has confirmed. Part 2, which will consist of Episodes 8 and 9, will drop on July 1. (You can watch the first eight minute of the Season 4 premiere above.)
It was back in February that series creators the Duffer Brothers revealed that the penultimate season of their 1980s-set sci-fi/horror/action/comedy would be split in two — with good reason. “With nine scripts, over 800 pages, almost two years of filming [and] thousands of visual-effects shots,” they said, it has “a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season.”
Matt Duffer recently told The Wrap that episodes “seven and nine in particular are movies. And nine is a long movie.” Regarding the Season 4 finale itself, Ross Duffer said, “We’re still refining it but we will say that it is over two hours. It’s a big one.”
As previously reported, the action in Season 4 won’t only take place in Hawkins, where most of our original core characters still reside, but in California, which is now home, sweet home to Eleven and the Byerses, and Russia, where an imprisoned Hopper is alive, if not necessarily well. The series’ tangled supernatural mythology will also be unraveled more this go-round than ever before, the Duffers recently told our sister site Deadline. “Each season, we’re just sort of peeling back the layers” of the onion that it is, said Ross. “But this season, we wanted to really get into it and [reveal] some of those answers.”
In addition, Season 4 is said to be a whole lot scarier than past outings. When the EPs paid a visit to Present Company With Krista Smith, Ross Duffer noted, “When we pitched [the show] to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are… The Goonies in E.T. That’s their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters, and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween.
“But this year, we don’t have the kids,” he continued. They’re older, so “we can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror-movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”
Check out photos from Season 4 in the gallery above.