Stranger Things creators finally swear off adding new characters to the cast

·2 min read
Eduardo Franco and Charlie Heaton, briefly glimpsed in the most recent season of Stranger Things
Eduardo Franco and Charlie Heaton, briefly glimpsed in the most recent season of Stranger Things

Although it started out fairly focused—two grown-ups, three high schoolers, five tweens, a flesh monster, and Matthew Modine—the cast of Netflix’s hit sci-fi series Stranger Things has gotten a little expansive over the last few years. That’s not to denigrate any later additions to the cast—the series wouldn’t be the same without Sadie Sink, Maya Hawke, or recent addition Joseph Quinn in the mix, to say nothing of all the other new characters the show has used to flesh out Hawkins, IN, and beyond. But it has contributed to some regular characters getting significantly less of the limelight as they’ve had to make room for the newbies in more recent seasons. (But not the Newby—at least, not after, well… you know.)

But no more! Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer have sworn off their “new character” addiction, per a recent conversation they had with IndieWire earlier this week. “We’re doing our best to resist [adding new characters] for Season 5,” Matt Duffer added as part of a longer question about the delicate balance required to bring a new element into the ensemble. “We’re trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess.”

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Although the Duffers didn’t respond to specific criticisms about the show’s use of characters in its fourth season—some fans have been vocal about Charlie Heaton’s Jonathan Byers getting less focus, although Heaton himself has noted that he’s happy to be part of a large ensemble—they did reassure fans that they care about this stuff. “We’ve got a great cast of characters here, and actors, and any moment we’re spending with a new character,” Ross Duffer said, “We’re taking time away from one of the other actors.”

In other portions of the interview, the Duffers talked about when they “figured out” the show’s mythology, noting that they wrote a large document after the show’s first renewal (i.e., when they knew they had a hit on their hands) that lays out the actual mythology of the Upside Down, including the revelations that came out during the fourth season. Ross Duffer: “The final reveal is going to be in Season 5, and we’re excited about that.”

[via Variety]