‘Stranger Things’: Everything We Know About Season 3

The kids from Stranger Things 2 trick-or-treating as the Ghostbusters

Stranger Things | Netflix

It has now been about nine months since Stranger Things debuted its second season on Netflix, and Season 3 is now in production. The bad news is that we have a lot longer to wait for it, but the good news is that we already have plenty of details to hold us over until then.

Here’s a look at everything we’ve learned about the third season of Stranger Things so far.

It will take place in the summer of 1985

The first two seasons of the show were set during the school year, but that’s changing with Season 3, which will actually take place in the summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Specifically, it’s set in the summer of 1985, meaning there will be a time jump after the Season 2 finale; the last scene of that season was set at a winter dance.

Will isn’t going to be in trouble again

So far, every season of Stranger Things has involved Will Byers being in trouble in some way, whether it’s being kidnapped in Season 1 or being possessed by the Mind Flayer in Season 2.

Luckily, Will is going to have a year off in Season 3. Producer Shawn Levy told Glamour, “We’re going to give Will a break. We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row.”

There will be new forces of evil

Although the Mind Flayer was still out there at the end of Stranger Things Season 2, it sounds like it won’t necessarily be the main villain of Season 3.

After all, producer Shawn Levy told Glamour that in Season 3, “We’re [going to be] dealing with forces of evil that are new.”

Erica will have a larger role

Lucas’ sister, Erica, was a huge hit in Season 2, and actress Priah Ferguson will be back for the third season.

Not only that, but she’s going to have a lot more to do; she has been upped to a recurring role. According to Deadline, “In Season 3, Lucas’ strong-willed little sister returns, only this time with an army of friends. No longer content with sitting on the sidelines, Erica finds herself on a wild mission to save Hawkins from a dangerous and unexpected new threat.”

Billy will have a more significant role, too

Another character who will get more to do next season is Billy. Apparently, a storyline of his that was originally intended for Season 2 will happen in Season 3.

“Billy was supposed to have a bigger role [in Season 2],” Matt Duffer told Vulture. “We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural storyline that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three.”

There will be some new characters

Season 2 introduced us to a bunch of new characters, and Season 3 will do the same.

For one, Maya Hawke has been cast in what is being described as a lead role, according to Variety. She will play an “alternative girl” who is bored with her day job and seeks some excitement but ends up getting more than she bargained for. A recent video to promote the series reveals that this day job is serving ice cream at a new Hawkins mall, and her co-worker happens to be Steve Harington.

In addition, according to Variety, Francesca Reale will play Heather, a lifeguard at the community pool; Cary Elwes will play Mayor Kline, a sleazy politician; and Jake Busey will play Bruce, a journalist for The Hawkins Post.

Eleven in Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things | Netflix

It will be Eleven’s coming-of-age story

Now that Eleven has been reunited with her friends, Season 3 will be a real coming-of-age story for her.

Millie Bobby Brown told Variety, “It’s a beautiful storyline for Eleven this season. It’s really a coming of age for her and understanding what being a normal teenage girl is.”

It’s less dark than Season 2

Season 2 went to some dark places, but apparently, Season 3 will let us have a bit more fun.

Noah Schnapp told Variety, “Season 1, I feel like, was more playful. Season 2 was a lot darker. And then Season 3 does really well blending them together, and that’s what I love about it.”

There will be more of “Dad Steve”

Perhaps the most unexpected and pleasant surprise of Season 2 was Steve Harrington’s relationship with Dustin, and we’ll evidently be seeing more of this side of Steve in Season 3.

Shawn Levy told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’ll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington in season three, and I’ll just say we won’t be abandoning the Dad Steve magic. I don’t want to say much more, but I literally feel that we were walking along and we stumbled onto a gold mine with Dad Steve.”

Mike and Eleven will still be couple, as will Max and Lucas

Season 3 will also explore two relationships that really became official at the end of Season 2: Mike and Eleven, and Max and Lucas.

Shawn Levy told The Hollywood Reporter, “Mike and Eleven and are going strong, so that’s a relationship that continues, and same with Mad Max and Lucas. But again, they’re like 13- or 14-year-old kids, so what does romance mean at that stage of life? It can never be simple and stable relationships and there’s fun to that instability.”

Eleven and Mike on Stranger Things

Stranger Things | Netflix

It will reference Back to the Future and was inspired by Fletch

1985, the year that Season 3 is set in, saw the release of some all-time classic movies, such as Back to the Future and The Goonies. Naturally, films like these will likely be referenced in Season 3 the same way Ghostbusters was in Season 2.

According to The Hollywood ReporterBack to the Future, in particular, will definitely be referenced.

But there’s another 1980s movie that weirdly served as inspiration for this season: the Chevy Chase comedy Fletch.

“The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies,” David Harbour told Variety. “And ‘Fletch’ is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from ‘Stranger Things’ and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.”

It’s in production now and will be released in 2019

So when, exactly, will the new season come out? Nothing has been confirmed, but the ship has definitely sailed on it being released this year. Instead, expect to wait until 2019.

After all, production on Season 3 began in April 2018, and with Season 2, there was about a full year between production beginning and the show coming out. So we shouldn’t expect it any earlier than April 2019.

But Season 3 is also taking place in the summer, and so just like how Season 2 began with Halloween and came out at the end of October, it seems likely that Netflix will end up releasing Season 3 in May or June of 2019.

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