Stranger Things season 4 is due in a little over two months, and to hold the wait until a full-length trailer, Netflix has unveiled 16 new first look photos from the return of the hit horror series. Additionally, we also have the official synopsis, the full cast list for Stranger Things 4, and details on which directors will helm which episodes. In prepared remarks, Stranger Things co-creator Ross Duffer noted that the new fourth season “leans much harder into horror movie territory” and that some fan theories are “startlingly” accurate. Duffer also reiterated that the Stranger Things 4 episodes are “very, very long” — we’ve had nine-episode runs before, which means the episode runtime will be longer this time.
“I think [fans will] be happy when they see [Stranger Things 4],” Duffer added. “It’s very, very long, which is why it’s taking us a very long time. I’m constantly impressed with how sharp the fans are, and how quickly they’re able to put something together with very, very little information.”
Duffer also spoke on how Stranger Things has evolved over the years: “When we pitched it 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 [of the Third Kind], and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. 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.”
Here’s the official synopsis for Stranger Things 4 from Netflix:
It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
The Stranger Things season 4 main cast list includes Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Brett Gelman (Murray), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), and Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner).
Among additional cast members for Stranger Things 4, we have Jamie Campbell Bower (Peter Ballard), Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson), Eduardo Franco (Argyle), Sherman Augustus (Lt. Colonel Sullivan), Mason Dye (Jason Carver), Nikola Djuricko (Yuri), Tom Wlaschiha (Dmitri), Myles Truitt (Patrick), Regina Ting Chen (Ms. Kelly), Grace Van Dien (Chrissy), Logan Riley Bruner (Fred Benson), Logan Allen (Jake), Elodie Grace Orkin (Angela), John Reynolds (Officer Callahan), Rob Morgan (Chief Powell), Amybeth McNulty (Vickie), and Robert Englund (Victor Creel). Many of these are new characters.
That brings us to the directors’ list for Stranger Things 4. The Duffer Brothers — of which the aforementioned Ross is one half, alongside his brother Matt — have directed episodes 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 of season 4. That makes it five of the nine episodes. Stranger Things executive producer and frequent director Shawn Levy — also known for the Ryan Reynolds movies Free Guy, and The Adam Project — is responsible for episodes 3 and 4. The remaining two episodes of Stranger Things season 4, episode 5 and 6, come from a new entrant in Nimród Antal (Control, Predators).
Iain Paterson, Dan Cohen, and Curtis Gwinn serve as executive producers on Stranger Things season 4 alongside Levy and the Duffer Brothers.
Stranger Things 4 begins May 27 with five-episode Volume 1, followed by the four-episode Volume 2 dropping July 1 on Netflix. This will be the hit series’ penultimate run, with Stranger Things 5 set to wrap up the show for good.
Cover photo (L-R): Eduardo Franco as Argyle, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things 4