Major hints about 'Stranger Things' season four ruin a popular fan theory

The hit Netflix series will likely return in 2020, and die-hard fans have been proven wrong

Once television shows reach cult status, you can expect a good fan theory or two about how impending seasons are going to pan out.

Unfortunately, we imagine several Stranger Things fans are probably disappointed their well researched prediction, which was widely shared on social media, has been debunked quite so early ahead of season four.

Leaked details around the hit Netflix show's next season have seemingly put paid to a popular fan theory, posted on Reddit in July, that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) might impact a real-world catastrophe by causing the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Why would that even be plausible in the first place? Let us explain.

Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin in season 3 of Stranger Things. Courtesy Netflix

In Stranger Things's history, the 1980s fantasy show has been set in the same season it was released in. Season two, for example, was released on Halloween, and featured scenes showing the gang dressed up as Ghostbusters for the holiday. Season three was released in July, and was set throughout the summer break.

When rumours circulated that season four would be released in April 2020, theories abounded that it might just coincide with Chernobyl.

The third season ended in October 1985, so it meant the next season would skip a little further ahead, but only by six months. It would certainly tie in with the Russians introduced in season three. Besides, considering the rampant success of the 2019 HBO series Chernobyl, it certainly would seem a smart move.

However, according to TVLine, the next season looks set to begin production in January 2020, with shooting expected to last until August, which completely rules out a spring or summer debut. And that means no worldwide catastrophe caused by a single human.

TVLine also said that the next season was likely to be eight episodes in total, on par with seasons one and three.

Speculation around season four is likely to reach fever pitch in the coming months, considering how season three left us hanging and the fact the show's Twitter account only dropped the new trailer earlier this month.