It feels like it should be about time for Stranger Things season 3, doesn’t it? The waiting for the next installment of the Netflix original series, rife with 80s nostalgia, makes every month feel at least double in length. So, to help you get through the next few months or even moments of waiting, here’s everything we know about the upcoming season.
While we can’t make the streaming service drop the new season any faster, we can give you plenty to get your excitement going. And, Back to the Future fans, you’re really going to dig this even darker chapter since the movie will be the cultural touch-point for the upcoming season like Ghostbusters was for season two.
Stranger Things season 3 cast
You already know the Stranger Things cast got a major pay bump heading into the new season — up to a increase of 12 times the pay they were getting previously. And that confirms the reappearance of the entire main cast of the series, but what about new additions? Are we going to see more of any smaller character in Stranger Things season 3?
Changes within the existing cast
Good news, fans of Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) sassy sister, Erica. The actress that brings life and plenty of attitude to the tiny-but-mighty girl, Priah Ferguson, is getting an upped presence in the new season. Her role is now reoccuring and we can only hope her salary is soon given a boost like the rest of the cast of beloved characters.
OK, but what about the new dynamic between Steve and Dustin? We’re not ready to let it go. Good news, everyone, you don’t have to. "We'll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) in season three, and I'll just say we won't be abandoning the Dad Steve magic," Levy teased, giving us all a silver lining to the darker aspects of the new season. But does that mean an end to the close Dungeons & Dragons gang?
New characters coming in season 3
There will be a brand new face entering the line-up, though, and not just in a passing role. Maya Hawke is joining the cast as “one of the new leads,” an “alternative girl” who’s sick of her job and quickly gets more than she bargains for when she stumbled onto another “dark secret” of Hawkins, Indiana.
There will be three additional new roles, a source told That Hashtag Show. Although the names given were placeholders, and therefore might change before the new season drops, here are the new people to look out for in Stranger Things season 3:
Patricia Brown: An elderly neighbor in her 70s who will be “offering her advice to the neighborhood kids” when she’s not gardening. Maybe the Duffer brothers have a sweet old lady with a dark secret in store for us this season.
Bruce: "a morally compromised news reporter in his 50s," who fits the old stereotype of the newsroom reporter and is described as "outwardly sexist, overweight and bedraggled."
Mayor Larry Kline: "Pathetic and driven only by his own interests," we’re guessing this "classic, 80's style slick politician" is only going to be a hindrance in the gang’s battle to defeat the shadow monster and escape the Upside Down.
UPDATE: Netflix officially announced on April 18 that they had signed Cary Elwes and Jake Busey as guest performers in the upcoming season. Elwes will bring life to the character of Mayor Larry Kline and you'll see Busey playing Bruce.
What about Eight?
Kali, otherwise known as Eight, is probably coming back, too. The character, played by Linnea Berthelsen, still has a largely untapped backstory that could come out in Stranger Things season 3. "It feels weird to me that we wouldn't solve [Kali's] storyline," Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter. "I would say chances are very high she comes back. [Millie Bobby Brown and Berthelsen] had, I think, a really powerful connection."
Stranger Things season 3 plot
The second season of the hit Netflix series certainly raised the bar on its baddies, introducing more evil-looking enemies for the kids, but will Stranger Things season 3 continue the trend? One thing’s for sure: The big shadow monster is back, so Will Byers better be ready. The looming menace’s reappearance was confirmed by executive producer and director Shawn Levy to Variety at PaleyFest 2018.
But rest assured the show going to make you feel all warm and fuzzy before they drop the hammer on the horror aspect of the show. Stranger Things season 3 is set in the summer, unlike the previous two seasons that centered around school. That means you’re going to get plenty of summer fun feel-good in addition to the show’s undeniable nostalgic charm before, as Levy put it, “things inevitably turn super dark.”
The bad guys
And, yes, “the shadow monster is still lurking up there out there in the Upside Down,” Levy confirms, but it’s far from the only threat. You’ll see more demogorgons and demodogs in Stranger Things season 3, but also new, blood-curdling creatures. And in case you were unsure where the shadow monster falls on the spectrum of thinking, plotting threats — since demodogs seem largely driven by instinct like, you guessed it, dogs — Levy teased that “He is determined to find a way to achieve his goals” this season. "The dogs didn't get it done in season two, so he's going to have some new strategies." Thanks for the nightmares.
The bad boy
It’s easy to forget about the cruel character that was new to the second season, but you’ll be seeing more of Max’s older brother, Billy, in Stranger Things season 3. While he didn’t quite compare to the threat of the demodogs, he’s clearly not a force for good. But the focus of his attention in the next season might be Mike’s mom and not the gang. "There was clearly a connection there," Levy says. "Karen has some unhappiness that is brewing. I think that makes her vulnerable to all kinds of things in season three.” That can only end poorly.
What’s in store for Will
Poor Will Byers hasn’t been able to catch a break, but maybe that’s about to change. Well, he still has the pretty obvious PTSD to deal with, understandably, but it appears the show won’t be throwing anything more onto the poor kid’s shoulders. They’re “not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row,” Levy told Glamour. Will “won’t be at rock bottom” during the upcoming season, so we might get to see him come into his own a little more.
Stranger Things season 3 episodes
You better get ready now to ration yourself, even if that means drawing up a hard and fast streaming schedule. Once Stranger Things season 3 drops, you’ll have just eight episodes of nostalgic 80s excitement to enjoy before you’re back to waiting for the next installment, as TV Line reports. And we all know that’s a long, hard wait if you binge-watch the season through in one night or weekend.
Stranger Things season 3 trailer
UPDATE: We now have a confusing "trailer" for Stranger Things 3 in the form of a TV ad for the new Starcourt Mall in Hawkins, Indiana. The quick promo teases a new character and, standard for the Netflix series, gives you one serious flash back to the 80s.
Stranger Things season 3 release date
No, it’s not going to be the best of trick-or-treating this year like the second season. That’s because you’re going to be waiting until 2019 for Stranger Things season 3, David Harbour (who plays TK) revealed to Variety. And while that’s disappointing, Harbour says it will be well worth the wait for eager fans.
“I mean, one of the things that’s annoying for fans is that it takes us a long time to do them,” Harbour acknowledged during the interview. “Like, you probably won’t get [Season 3] until sometime in 2019. But also part of the thing is, like any good thing, they need time. And those guys work so hard. I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day.”
UPDATE: The new Stranger Things 3 trailer teases that the mall is coming to Hawkins, IN "next summer," which may or may not be a clue for loyal fans of the series. We've heard before that the new season would come "sometime in 2019," so maybe they're putting a season on it now.
As soon as Netflix announces an official Stranger Things season 3 release date, Metro US will update you so you can start your countdown.