The 'Stranger Things' showrunners say that production is on hold during the writers' strike. Here's everything else they've said about the fifth and final season.
The Duffer brothers have teased information about the fifth and final season of "Stranger Things."
The showrunners announced that production was on hold until the end of the writers' strike.
Warning: This post contains major spoilers for season four of "Stranger Things."
The Duffers announced in May that production of the final season was on hold until the end of the writers' strike.
In a May 6 tweet from the writers' room Twitter account, the Duffer brothers announced that production was on pause until the writers' strike had ended and the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had reached a "fair deal."
"Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins," the tweet began. "While we're excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then -- over and out. #wgastrong."
The account also liked several tweets supporting the strike, including one featuring an image of a picket sign reading, "Pay us or Steve Harrington is toast."
As of May 2, WGA writers went on strike after negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP stalled.
The issues at hand for writers include stagnating wages, practices like "mini rooms," and the threat that AI could replace writers, Insider previously reported.
The writers' room for season five started in August.
The Duffer brothers told Collider in July 2022 that after some time off that month following the release of season four, part two, they were planning on starting up the writers' room for season five of the series during the first week of August.
Later, the official writers room Twitter account for the show confirmed that writing had started on August 2, 2022.
The gap between the releases of seasons four and five will likely be shorter than the wait between seasons three and four.
The Duffer Brothers told Variety in May that the time between seasons "should be quite a bit shorter this time," given that their COVID-induced filming hiatus gave them time to outline season five.
Furthermore, "we can't imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus," they told Variety.
Season five will be shorter — except for its finale. Probably.
On the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, the Duffer Brothers told host Josh Horowitz that they didn't expect the show's final season to be as long as season four, in part because it won't require the exposition that season four did.
"I don't know if it's gonna be going 100 miles per hour at the start of five, but it's gonna be moving pretty fast," Matt Duffer said. "Characters are already gonna be in action, they're already gonna have a goal and drive, and I think that's gonna carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different.
Ross Duffer said, however, that they're likely to have another "two-and-a-half-hour episode" for the series finale, in order to avoid a television phenomenon in which the series' final episode falls after the climax, and serves as a "wind down."
Still, the brothers said that during the writing process, things could turn out differently length-wise.
Season five will likely feature a time jump.
Ross Duffer told TV Line that he was "sure we will do a time jump" for the show's fifth season, given the young cast's increasing age. The series' young actors are now three to five years older than their characters in the show.
"Ideally, we'd have shot [seasons four and five] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that," he told TV Line.
It will bring an end to the story of Eleven, Hawkins, and the Upside Down.
In February, Netflix announced that the fifth season of "Stranger Things" would be its last. In a letter at the time, the Duffer brothers laid out their plans for the universe. While there was plenty left to explore, the letter read, the series finale would bring an end to its central story.
"We hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down," the brothers said in a letter.
The brothers "feel good" about the ending, which they've already planned out.
The brothers told Collider in July that they have confidence in the show's ending, which they've already planned.
"We do feel good about the ending," Matt Duffer said. "I was like, okay, I think this ending is not… I'm not super insecure. I'm insecure about a lot of things, but I feel like this ending feels good."
Ross Duffer told the publication that the final 20 minutes of the series were "locked in."
The Duffer brothers aren't trying to engineer another "Running Up That Hill" moment in season five.
Matt Duffer told Collider that people were already asking which song they were going to bring back into the zeitgeist in season five, after catapulting Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" up the charts in season four.
"I'm like, 'We're not going to do that again,'" Matt said. "Because if we do it, it will fail."
Max being in a coma is an important plot point.
The Duffer brothers said in a post-season four debrief with Netflix Geeked that they did consider permanently killing Max.
"The fact that she's in a coma, I can't really get into the details, but it is important that she is," Matt Duffer said. "That is gonna have a major effect on five. So it's not a, oh well, you know, a cheat. It's incredibly relevant to five."
Season five will explain more about the Upside Down.
Russ Duffer told Netflix Geeked that lingering questions about the Upside Down, such as why it's frozen in time to the point where Will was taken in season one, will be answered in season five.
"The answers to what the Upside Down actually is, is really gonna be the core of what season five is, and the mysteries of season five," Ross said. "And those answers are really gonna lead us to the conclusion of this story."
The fifth season will mostly take place in Hawkins, where it all started.
The Duffer brothers told Collider that the fifth season will take place mostly in Hawkins, Indiana, as well as the Upside Down. That's a direct contrast to season four, which saw the cast scattered between Indiana, California, and Russia.
"This is about everyone finally coming back. Coming back together, coming back to Hawkins," Matt Duffer said. "Hopper is back in Hawkins. The original group [is] back together — the original group of boys plus Eleven. The OG group. There's something interesting to re-explore some of the season one dynamics again, except on this grander scale."
The end of the story was apparently emotional enough to make Netflix executives cry.
Ross Duffer told The Wrap that when he and Matt pitched season five to Netflix, it led to some tears being shed in the room.
"I mean, it was hard. It's the end of the story," he told the publication. "I saw executives crying who I've never seen cry before and it was wild. And it's not just to do with the story, just the fact that it's like, 'Oh my God, this thing that has defined so many of our lives, these Netflix people who has been with us from the beginning, seven years now,' and it's hard to imagine the journey coming to an end."
Eddie's death will have ramifications in season five.
On the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, Matt Duffer said that all the deaths on the show have ramifications on the series.
"Eddie is gonna have huge repercussions on season five, so it's not just serving thematic purpose, it's serving narrative purpose," Matt Duffer said, while defending himself from Millie Bobby Brown's comments that the showrunning duo is reluctant to kill major characters.
Will Byers is going to be a "big focus" of season five.
Matt Duffer told Collider that Will, played by Noah Schnapp, is going to play a large part in season five.
"Will's going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of season five, in his journey. We're starting to see his coming of age, really," Matt told the publication. "Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you're starting to see him come into his own."
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