Image Source: Netflix
As much as we wish Stranger Things would go on forever, we recognize that the show has an expiration date. But when, exactly, will that be?
Ever since the second season came out last year, Stranger Things cocreators Ross and Matt Duffer have maintained the Netflix hit has a finite number of seasons. During an interview with New York Magazine in August 2017, Ross said that they were "thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out," which would mean there are two more seasons left for the Duffers to wrap things up. But speaking of wrapping, a series of teary-eyed photos Millie Bobby Brown recently posted to her Instagram stories after production on season three ended, as well as a shot of Finn Wolfhard (aka Mike) rocking a newly cropped haircut, has fans speculating that the sci-fi hit's third season will be its last.
Initially, Brown posted a video of her in a car as she explained that she was going to "cry all day FYI" on the last day of shooting as her character, Eleven. She also wrote messages to costars Sadie Sink and Noah Schnapp, saying "I can't say good-bye" and "this is not okay." Later she shared photos of her sobbing after filming, and a selfie of Schnapp and Sink calling them the "love[s] of her life."
Image Source: Instagram user Millie Bobby Brown
Pretty emotional, no? Especially if there's still a full season left to film. But Brown's social media posts aren't the only things making fans nervous about an early end for the show — an Instagram selfie on Wolfhard's page shows him with newly dyed purple hair, which has also been cut much shorter than Mike typically wears it (at this point, haircuts are basically spoilers). His caption, "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over," also seems to be a shout out to the end of season three of the show. But could it also be a sign that a permanent break from the series is imminent?
In February, rumors began circulating that the Duffer brothers were leaving after the third season. Netflix refuted those claims, but it would make sense as to why Brown and the other cast members have been so emotional over wrapping season three. Of course, if it's up to Netflix, there might be two seasons left to film, since executive producer Shawn Levy isn't necessarily on board with the Duffer's vision of limited seasons. In 2017 he told Entertainment Weekly that there's a chance Stranger Things will go beyond four seasons, but not by as much as you might hope.
"Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors' agents," Levy said. "The truth is we're definitely going four seasons and there's very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely."
For the Duffers, the chief concern is ensuring that the story remains realistic despite its supernatural themes. "It's not wrapped up this season," Ross explained of season two. "I think [season two] will be a satisfying end but there's still danger out there. There's too much to deal with in one more season. If we're able to, there will be at least four, there could be more. I think there's going to come a point where why aren't these people leaving Hawkins? Like we're going to stretch credibility. It wasn't intended to be a seven-season thing."
Infinite episodes of Stranger Things might sound like a dream for many fans, but how many times can the kids of Hawkins, IN, face down a giant, otherworldly monster before things start to get too repetitive? That's a question the Duffers are exploring, which means an exact end date is still up for debate. "It's not built to sustain that as a narrative," Ross said. "After it became successful, we had one of those big meetings with Netflix over dinner and they were like 'We don't want this going on that long.' They were very supportive of it. It's stupid to put an end date on it right now because we don't know."