It's the beginning of the end for Stranger Things.
The show, which began broadcasting in 2016, has gone on to become a major global success and one of the streaming platform’s most-watched of all time.
According to data compiled by Nielsen, Stranger Things season four was viewed 7.2 billion minutes in the week from May 30 to June 5, the highest for any programme on a streaming platform since weekly rankings were introduced almost two years ago, said The Hollywood Reporter.
In February, the series' creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, announced that season five would be the last.
"Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four or five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you'll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season four will be the penultimate season; season five will be the last,” they wrote in a letter to fans.
So, while we won’t go into any major spoilers if you haven’t caught up yet, here’s everything the Duffer brothers, as well as the cast, have said about the fifth and final season.
It will focus on the original cast
While the show has gained a reputation for adding new characters, such as Bob Newby (Sean Astin) and Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), only to kill them off later in the season, the Duffer brothers are hoping to avoid this in the final season. Instead, they say they hope to focus more on the original cast.
“We’re doing our best to resist [adding new characters] for season five,” Ross Duffer told IndieWire. “We’re trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess."
Season five has yet to start filming
So far, it’s not known when the final season will be on Netflix, although there’s speculation it will be released next year. However, the Duffer brothers have said filming is yet to begin.
“I’m not sure we’re ready to say yet a start date for shooting,” Matt said in an interview TVLine in June. “But a lot of it is pretty well mapped out.”
It may feature jumps in the timeline
“I’m sure we will do a time jump,” Ross said to TVLine. “Ideally, we’d have shot [seasons four and five] back-to-back, but there was just no feasible way to do that.”
However, if the series does jump timelines, it’ll be interesting to see where season five picks up, given how season four ended.
Scroll the gallery below to see how the young actors have changed since season one
They want to go all out
Executive producer Shawn Levy has spoken about not wanting Stranger Things to drag on, suggesting that a bold and satisfying ending is on the horizon.
“We don’t want to be one of those shows that outstays its welcome and is flailing while it searches for a way to stick the landing. We really want to stick the landing. I feel like we have been able to do that every season and we also want to do it for the series," he said in an interview with US Weekly.
It will be action-packed from the start
While the second half of season four felt more like a film than a television show at times, it’s been hinted that when season five does eventually have its premiere, it will dive straight into the action.
"Normally it’s like, oh, we get to revisit the characters in their normal lives and how they’re doing and what are their relationships like?" Ross said to The Wrap. "And then something happens, and then there’s an incident and it goes from there. There’s build up. There’s a lot of build-up and set-up [each season], and five is just going to be pedal to the metal from the opening scene. At least that’s what I remember from the outline."
The ending is already in place
The Duffer brothers have said they more or less know how the show will end.
"We do have an outline for season five and we pitched it to Netflix and they really responded well to it," said Ross. "I mean, it was hard. It's the end of the story. I saw executives crying who I've never seen cry before and it was wild."
David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper, previously told Variety that he knows how the series ends and said "it's quite moving and quite beautiful."
There could be a 'Stranger Things' spin-off
When announcing the end of the Netflix show, the Duffer brothers hinted at a potential spin-off series to Variety: "There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things. New mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes."
There wasn't actually much to a possible spin-off until Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler, proposed an idea that the duo found intriguing.
“He wasn’t spitballing, he just went, ‘I think this would be a cool spin-off,’” Ross recounted of the moment the actor correctly guessed what the new series would be. “And we were like, ‘How in the world…’”
"We haven't told anyone the idea yet, much less written it," they said later on. "We think everyone including Netflix will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it's very, very different. Somehow, Finn Wolfhard — who is one crazy smart kid — correctly guessed what it was going to be about. But aside from Finn, no one else knows!"
Scroll the gallery below to see AlUla and other global landmarks celebrate return of 'Stranger Things'