‘Stranger Things’: New Details We Just Learned About Season 3

Months after the release of Stranger Things Season 2, fans of the hit Netflix series are desperate for information about what’s to come. Thankfully, some new details have just arrived.

Recently, the cast and crew got together for a panel at PaleyFest. Although they mostly spent the time reflecting on the first two seasons, producer Shawn Levy did provide some tantalizing hints about where the story is going.

Here’s a look at all of the new details we just learned about the third season of Stranger Things, including an update on when production will get underway.

1. It will take place in the summer of 1985

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

There won’t be any Halloween costumes this time around. | Netflix

The first new thing we learned about Season 3 is that it will take place in the summer of 1985. This means the season will pick up about six months after the end of Season 2.

What’s especially notable about this is that it will be the first season to take place during the summer, when the main characters are off from school. Both of the previous seasons took place in the fall.

“It’s parades and the local swimming pool and maybe Billy without a shirt and bonfires and Fourth of July fireworks, so I can tell you that season three makes the most of that summer setting,” Levy said.

Next: This key movie will be referenced in Season 3.

2. There will be references to Back to the Future

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J Fox in Back to the Future

The kids will definitely be fans of this blockbuster film. | Universal Pictures

Obviously, the Duffer Brothers love movie references, and they have a lot to work with given the 1985 setting. After all, that year saw the release of Back to the FutureThe Goonies, The Breakfast Club, Clue, and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to name just a few.

As you can imagine, Levy says that Back to the Future will be referenced in the new season; it will probably come up in the same sort of way that Ghostbusters came up in Season 2.

Next: Levy provides an update on these characters’ relationship status. 

3. Mike and Eleven will be dating, as will Max and Lucas

Eleven and Mike on Stranger Things

We’re looking forward to seeing how Eleven and Mike navigate teen romance. | Netflix

You’ll recall that Mike and Eleven kissed at the end of Stranger Things‘ second season, as did Max and Lucas. According to Levy, both of those relationships will be going strong in Season 3.

“But again, they’re like 13- or 14-year-old kids, so what does romance mean at that stage of life?” Levy asked. “It can never be simple and stable relationships and there’s fun to that instability.”

Next: We’ll get a lot more of this character in Season 3.

4. We’ll get more of dad Steve

Dustin and Steve on Stranger Things

The Dustin-Steve relationship was a fun twist last season. | Netflix

One of the most delightful surprises of Season 2 was getting to see Steve Harrington acting like a dad, hanging out with and taking care of Dustin during the last few episodes.

Clearly, the showrunners have realized how much this worked, and they’ve promised that not only will we get more Steve in general in Season 3, but we’ll specifically get more dad Steve. “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,” Levy said.

Next: An update on the Shadow Monster’s role in Season 3

5. The Shadow Monster will have ‘some new strategies’

Stranger Things Season 2

The Shadow Monster is still out there. | Netflix

Who or what will be the villain of Season 3? When we last left our characters, the Shadow Monster was still watching them; the gate to the Upside Down has been shut, but the creature is still out there.

Levy suggested that the Shadow Monster will still be a presence in Season 3. “The Shadow Monster is still lurking up there out there in the Upside Down. He is determined to find a way to achieve his goals,” Levy said. “The dogs didn’t get it done in season two, so he’s going to have some new strategies.”

However, Levy had previously said that the new season will be dealing with “forces of evil that are new.” So maybe he means that the Shadow Monster will still be a looming threat in the season and he’ll send some new creatures to the Earth in order to do his bidding.

Next: We’ve just learned more about this new character joining the cast in Season 3.

6. Robin, an alternative girl, will be introduced

Maya Hawke

Hawke’s character will hang out with the older teenage crowd, we assume. | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Season 2 introduced a few new characters, and now, we’ll be getting at least one new one this year as well. Maya Hawke has joined the new season in a lead role as Robin. Levy told Variety that she is playing an “alternative girl” and is a “really exciting, young brand-new face and actor.”

Hawke is 19 years old, and it seems that she’ll be involved in Steve’s storyline. After all, Levy said that Hawke came in to audition with Joe Keery, and the two had “such interesting chemistry and dynamic.” Could this be a new love interest for Steve?

Additionally, Priah Ferguson, who played Lucas’ sister in Season 2, will have an increased role.

Next: Here’s when the new season will probably air.

7. It likely won’t air until 2019

Stranger Things 2

We’re going to have to wait at least a year for the new season. | Netflix

So when is the third season of Stranger Things actually going to come out? Well, we’re going to have to wait a while. Production just recently got underway starting on April 27th.

Production of Stranger Things Season 2 began in November 2016, and it was ultimately released in October 2017. So based on that schedule, with Season 3 beginning production in April 2018, the earliest we’d likely see it would be March 2019.

But because of the summer setting, it wouldn’t be surprising if Netflix doesn’t release it until May or June.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!