Stranger Things season 5 release updates, cast, and everything we … – Netflix Life

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Had things gone according to plan and the AMPTP offered the WGA and SAG unions deals they could accept, the cast and crew of Stranger Things season 5 would be at least a few months into production on the final season of Stranger Things. But, that has not happened. It’s September 2023, and the cast and crew of the Netflix original series is waiting to start production.
While Stranger Things season 4 was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like we’re in the middle of another delay for Stranger Things season 5.
On May 6, 2023, the Duffer Brothers revealed production on Stranger Things season 5 will not begin until the WGA strike is over. In July, the actors went on strike. And, as of Sept. 5, the AMPTP has not offered a better deal to the unions. Negotiations have reportedly been few and far between.
This summer, Netflix also hosted their annual TUDUM event on June 17 and announced a super exciting cast addition for season 5, so it’s not all bad news. We also got a director update after that.
More recently, in August and September, we’ve heard a few updates from Stranger Things cast members, David Harbour and Joe Keery. Each commented on the end of Stranger Things. Harbour also shared an update on the timeline for production in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
There’s also rumors on Twitter about the Stranger Things season 5 sets being built. We haven’t been able to verify the rumors, but it sounds like work, without the writers and actors, is still happening.
Stranger Things was officially the biggest Netflix show of 2022. Stranger Things season 4 was released in two parts during the summer of 2022, and since then, fans have been waiting for any big announcements from the Stranger Things team about the fifth season.
It’s going to be a while until season 5 hits Netflix, but because there’s so much information flying around, we created this page for fans to revisit to find out the latest updates about the Stranger Things season 5 release, cast, episodes, and more.
The latest update was made on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. FanSided Entertainment’s Natalie Zamora and Bryce Olin contributed to this report.
In May 2023, the Duffer Brothers shared on Twitter that Stranger Things season 5 will not start filming until the writers’ strike is over. Stranger Things season 5 filming was reported to be starting in May or June.
Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) May 6, 2023

In the last few months, the timeline for filming Stranger Things season 5 has been revealed.
David Harbour, who stars as Jim Hopper in the Netflix series, just revealed when production starts on the new season, and it’s in line with what we’ve heard from other cast members, Noah Schnapp and Finn Wolfhard. Harbour told Collider he starts filming in June 2023, while Schnapp mentioned he starts filming in May. Harbour also revealed that he got a bunch of emails from Netflix telling him to zip it and stop talking about season 5.
Unfortunately, that May or June start date could not happen because of the writers’ strike.
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
More recently in July, the actors also began their strike. At the time of this writing, both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are both on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) after not being able to come to an agreement on their updated contracts.
This means that neither the writers nor actors in the respective unions mentioned can work with the AMPTP, which includes major studios like Netflix. So even if the writers’ strike concludes and the Stranger Things writing room can get back to working on season 5, the actors will not be able to film it if their strike is still happening.
There’s no telling how long the writers’ or actors’ strike will go on, but one would have to hope that if the AMPTP is compromising with one, they’ll do it with the other as well. The studios can’t make money if the writers and actors can’t work. For many reasons, TV and movie fans like us are hoping the studios budge soon.
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Stranger Things season 5 is definitely happening, but the only sad news is that it will mark the final season of the sci-fi phenomenon. In Feb. 2022, Netflix officially renewed the series for a fifth season, sharing a letter from the Duffer Brothers on social media. In the letter, the duo shared the exciting news about the Stranger Things season 4 release date but also revealed the show is coming to an end. Check out the photo below.
Stranger Things season 4 letter / Netflix
David Harbour told Discussing Film that he knows it is time for Stranger Things to end.
What’s funny is when I started the show, I never ever wanted it to end. That’s why I love the show. I think it’s a great show, even if I wasn’t in it. Now we’re almost nine years from filming the first season, and I think it is time for it to end. But it is, of course, very bittersweet. You know, there’s a sadness there. But also, we’ve all grown up. It is time for us to leave that nest and try other things and different projects. And to let the Duffer Brothers try different things as well. I mean, those guys are so talented. I want to see what they come up with next. So it is bittersweet, but it’s definitely time.
Stranger Things fans might not agree, but that’s what is happening.
Recently, Joe Keery shared his feelings on Stranger Things season 5 being the final season of the series in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. The interview took place before the SAG strike started in July 2023.
Here’s what he told WWD:
“It does feel like it’s time. It won’t be easy for it to end. I mean, I owe my whole career to being on that show and all the opportunities that I had since are because of that show. So it’s very convoluted. There’s a sense of relief, there’s a sense of sadness. I guess my goal is to just really soak it up as much as I can while we’re doing it, and not take any of it for granted because it’s been an amazing ride with such great people. And then once it’s done, move forward and try to just hold on to the joy that we had when we were making it….Everything has a beginning and the middle and an end. It’ll be nice to have the end of this too.”
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
As of September 2023, we do not have the Stranger Things season 5 release date. There are lots of fake release dates online, so don’t get tricked! So, let’s get into what we do know about when we can expect the final installment.
The Duffers told Variety in May 2022 that the gap between season 4 and season 5 shouldn’t be as long as the gap between season 3 and season 4:
“Don’t hold us to it, but the gap should be quite a bit shorter this time, due to the fact that we already have an initial outline, and we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus.”
But of course, they said that before the writers’ and actors’ strikes began.
Thanks to the stars of the show, we figured out when filming was supposed to start. The writers had been hard at work on season 5 since about a month after the release of season 4 part 2. We have to assume that the outline is done, but we know from previous seasons the Duffers like to write as they go. We have to assume that will happen for season 5 as well.
Harbour also told The Hollywood Reporter that Stranger Things season 5 will take about a year to film. Obviously, that’s tough news for fans, and we’ll explain why. Here’s Harbour’s full quote from Harbour:
“There will be a little bit of a push difference, but Stranger Things 5 will shoot for a year. So Thunderbolts will have to live somewhere within that, but the whole thing is crazy speculation at this point.”
Grid complete
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) September 20, 2022

Until the AMPTP offers the writers and actors a deal they can accept, Stranger Things season 5 will be delayed. We had a feeling the Duffers would not cross the picket line. They revealed in the past that they are constantly writing and rewriting during the production schedule, and they’re not going to work until the AMPTP offers a deal.
House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power are still filming through the strike without showrunners and writers on set, according to reports. Stranger Things is a different animal, though. As the Duffers mentioned, when the AMPTP offers a “fair deal,” they’ll get to work on season 5. And now that the actors are also striking, that makes the release window a bit more complicated to predict.
As more and more time goes on, it’s looking likely that we won’t be getting Stranger Things season 5 until sometime in 2025. Trust us, it hurts us, too!
Even if production started in September and the strikes ended, filming would not finish until the fall of 2024. There’s no way to turn the season around for release on Netflix before the year ends. So, right now, it’s almost guaranteed Stranger Things season 5 is coming to Netflix in 2025 at the very earliest.
Release Prediction: Summer 2025
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
We have to imagine the plot of Stranger Things season 5 will revolve around the giant hole that was created in the center of Hawkins that is definitely linked to the Upside Down. The Duffers have already revealed that will be a big focus of the season.
Variety released an interview with Matt and Ross Duffers ahead of the Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 release, where they gave multiple plot teases about season 5. At this point in time, they do not know whether or not season 5 will be split into two parts like season 4 was, but they are aware of a few major plot points that will be explored.
For one, the Duffers say we will finally learn about the origins of the Upside Down come Stranger Things season 5, with them explaining:
“The only thing we don’t delve into in [season 4] volume 2 is Upside Down lore. We hint at it. I’m sure someone on Reddit will be able to maybe piece it together, but a lot of those answers for the Upside Down or that is really what the basis of season 5 is about.”
So we can expect the history of the Upside Down and all of its mysterious lore to be the main plot of season 5. I love it! Additionally, the creators revealed we will get answers in season 5 as to why the Upside Down is frozen in time on the date that Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) went missing. We find this out in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1, but it’s not explained.
In addition, Will is set to be a focal point of season 5. In an interview with Collider, here’s what Matt Duffer had to say:
“Will’s going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of Season 5, in his journey. We’re starting to see his coming of age, really. Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you’re starting to see him come into his own.”
On Twitter, the writers revealed that the new season will be like “if season 1 and season 4 had a baby. And that baby was injected with steroids.” Of course, just that short tweet got fans excited!
Harbour also joined the Happy Sad Confused Podcast and shared when the season begins, according to Variety.
“After where Season 4 ended — when you watch us on that hill looking at the ash and the smoke fires — we’re going to start somewhere after that. So you’ve gotta imagine the world is a different place.”
There are so many unanswered questions about season 5, and it all feels like we’ve been building to this moment for so long. We have to assume that Vecna still has a major role to play in Stranger Things season 5, although he was vanquished by Nancy, Eleven, and the gang in the fourth season.
We tried to answer a few more big questions about the season below.
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
We know most of the Stranger Things season 5 cast, and many have confirmed they will return for the fifth season. We shared the cast below:
Throughout each season of the Netflix Original, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic new characters, including Max (Sadie Sink), Bob (Sean Astin), Eddie (Joseph Quinn), and more. Of course, we’ve also met a few new villains, like Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower), too. But what about in Stranger Things season 5? Well, we know of one new cast addition.
TOKYO, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 05: Linda Hamilton attends the press conference for the Japan premiere of ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ on November 5, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
To our surprise, Netflix announced on June 17 that iconic actress Linda Hamilton will appear in the fifth season! That’s awesome. Hamilton is best known for playing Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies. I love that Stranger Things keep casting actors who rose to fame in movies from the ’70s and the ’80s. We don’t know who Hamilton will be playing but we’re excited to find out!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 22: Dan Trachtenberg speaks onstage during the ‘Prey’ FYC Event at Harmony Gold in Hollywood, California on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)
While we wait for Stranger Things season 5 to begin production, we got exciting news regarding one of the directors. Netflix confirmed that Dan Trachtenberg, best known for helming the movies 10 Cloverfield Lane and Prey, will serve as a director for one episode in season 5. In addition to his critically-acclaimed movies mentioned, he’s also directed an episode of Black Mirror and the pilot of The Boys.
Needless to say, Trachtenberg has experience in the business and has directed really great movies and episodes. We’re in good hands with him, we promise!
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 18: Jodie Foster attends MPTF’s “100 Years of Hollywood: A Celebration of Service” at The Lot Studios on June 18, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
In June 2023, the Stranger Things writers’ Twitter account had to shoot down a major rumor when word spread that Jodie Foster was supposedly joining the cast of season 5. The report came from the site Giant Freakin Robot, who has since deleted their tweet. The show’s writers caught the rumor and responded to the site directly, writing back, “no she’s not.”
The account didn’t stop there, however, as they also urged the site to stop sharing inaccurate information and actually confirm rumors with their sources before publishing them onto the internet.
Foster is, of course, an incredibly talented and seasoned actor who’s been impressing moviegoers since the late ‘60s. She’d be an awesome addition to the Stranger Things season 5 cast, but that just won’t be the case. However, we will be seeing her on our Netflix screens at some point in the future with her upcoming movie Nyad alongside Annette Bening, so at least there’s that!
STRANGER THINGS. Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The finale of Stranger Things season 4 shocked us all by killing off Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) and then soon bringing her back. At the end of the episode, she’s in the hospital in a coma. They don’t know when or if she will come back. The Duffers did confirm to Deadline that at the end of season 4 she is alive, but “brain dead, blind, and all of her bones are broken.” So unless something big happens between seasons, we’re assuming Max might still be in a coma when season 5 starts.
As for what Sadie Sink thinks, she doesn’t know what will happen for Max in season 5, but she told Vulture: “I think she’s at a place where she now really wants to fight.” At this time, we don’t know if Max will make it in the end, but we predict she will.
STRANGER THINGS. Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Tina Rowden/Netflix © 2022
While Steve has had many near-death experiences over the course of four seasons of Stranger Things, no, Steve does not die in Stranger Things. Not yet, anyway!
Somehow, he survives the events of Stranger Things season 4 even while many fans thought the season was setting up to kill off Steve Harrington.
Heading into Stranger Things season 5, there’s no reason to think that Steve is in any more danger than any other character. We obviously don’t imagine that all the important characters will survive the final season, but we’re hopeful Steve will be around, kicking, and looking for love when the Upside Down dust settles in season 5.
STRANGER THINGS. Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
A real death we have to deal with in Stranger Things season 4 is when Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) sacrifices himself to save the rest of the group while distracting the Demobats. The character is introduced in season 4 and instantly became a fan-favorite with viewers. People are now obsessed with Joseph Quinn (even Doja Cat!) and want him to return somehow in the final season.
At this time, it has not been confirmed by the Duffers whether or not Eddie could return in some capacity, but Quinn would love to come back if he was asked. While speaking to E! News, he said of the possibility:
“Me and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) were discussing ways in which I could kind of [return] …maybe I’d be like a figment of Gaten’s imagination or something, like if there could be some kind of room for something like that, something a bit supernatural.”
There’s a popular theory going around that Eddie could come back as a vampire, with Dungeons & Dragons lore to back it up. Honestly, I’d think that’d be pretty cool. But could the Duffers fit that storyline in with everything else going on? We’ll have to wait and see.
Unfortunately, at Comic-Con in Abu Dhabi, Quinn also spoke about his involvement in Stranger Things season 5. According to Winter Is Coming, Quinn told the crowd, “I think it’s probably unlikely. That’s my honest answer.”
Yikes. That doesn’t sound good for a possible Eddie Munson appearance. There is a chance, obviously, that we could see a cameo appearance via flashback or memory or something like that, but that might happen way down the line. And, we know Quinn wouldn’t ruin that possibility by announcing it at a convention.
STRANGER THINGS (L to R) Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Another thing we know about Stranger Things season 5 already is that it will likely feature a significant time jump. While speaking to TV Line, the Duffers explained that they had hoped they could have filmed seasons 4 and 5 back to back, but that wasn’t the case, explaining that there was “no feasible way to do that.”
One reason for a time jump could be because the child actors of Stranger Things are no longer children and it might be difficult to make them look like they’re still in high school. We’ll be sure to update you once we know for sure what this potential time jump in season 5 will look like.
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Stranger Things season 4 introduces new locations as we get to see Jim Hopper (David Harbour) living out in Russia as a prisoner, while Joyce (Winona Ryder), Will, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are getting used to their new home in Lenora Hills, California.
According to the Duffers, season 5 will see the main characters together again in Hawkins, Indiana, meaning the majority — if not all — of the upcoming season will take place where it all began. Oh, and you know we’re going back to the Upside Down. For sure, for sure.
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Although it has not been officially confirmed, Stranger Things season 5 will likely be eight episodes.
The Stranger Things Writers account posted a picture of the storyboard they were using to outline season 5. It only consists of eight episodes, although we can’t see the full board. At this point, it looks like there’s going to be eight episodes.
Grid stage
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) August 25, 2022

A huge part of Stranger Things season 4 that people couldn’t stop talking about was the episode lengths. We basically got movies for each episode, and the finale runs at a whopping two hours and 19 minutes long. Hey, I’m not complaining! The more Stranger Things the better. But what about for season 5? The Duffers have already started discussing the episode lengths.
According to the show’s creators, the episodes in season 5 are not expected to be as long as the ones in season 4. However, the Stranger Things season 5 finale will clock in at over two hours. “We’re more likely to do what we did [with the season 4 finale], which is to just have a 2.5 hour episode,” Matt Duffer said about the series finale on the Happy Sad Confused.
STRANGER THINGS. Vecna Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
During Stranger Things Day on Nov. 6, 2022, Netflix officially shared the episode title for the season 5 premiere. Though fans were hoping for more news on the special day, we’ll take it! Stranger Things season 5 episode 1 will be titled “The Crawl.” Of course, people have been speculating what it means, with many hoping it could be a hint at Eddie’s return. We’ll have to wait and see.
STRANGER THINGS (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Even though Stranger Things is ending with season 5, that most likely won’t be the end of this universe. In the season 4 release date and season 5 renewal letter from the Duffer Brothers which you can see above, the creators also tease that, “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.” Of course, this signals that spinoffs are coming. And we even got some details about one earlier this year.
In May 2022, the Duffers teased one spinoff idea they have, noting that only Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard knows what it’s about. They told Variety:
“We do have an idea for a spinoff that we’re super excited about … but we haven’t told anyone the idea yet, much less written it. We think everyone, including Netflix, will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it’s very, very different. But 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!”
There are so many different avenues the Duffers could take with a Stranger Things spinoff, and fans already have their theories. Famed horror writer Stephen King says they should do a spinoff all about Yuri (Nikola Đuričko), the Russian smuggler who we’re introduced to in season 4 volume 1. We’ll have to wait and see what the showrunners choose to explore next.
While being interviewed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Duffers revealed the spinoff will not focus on Eleven or any of the central characters.
We know at least one of the spinoff ideas is happening! In April, Netflix confirmed an animated Stranger Things spinoff is in the works.
Timothée Chalamet is one of the most famous actors in the world right now. There have been some rumors and fake reports on social media, notably TikTok, that claim Chalamet will be in Stranger Things season 5. Many have noted that Chalamet looks like he could be Nancy and Mike’s long-lost Wheeler brother.
While it’s possible that Chalamet could join the series, it’s definitely a long shot. As mentioned, we know the Duffer Brothers aren’t adding many actors for Stranger Things season 5, which will focus on the main characters over the first four seasons and wrap up the story.
As of September 2023, this appears to be just a silly internet rumor. You should not believe cast rumors until Netflix announces them or the actors and creative team confirm them.
STRANGER THINGS (L to R) Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix 2022
The short answer right now is after the writers’ and actors’ strikes are over.
As mentioned, Stranger Things season 5 was going to start filming in May or June 2023. The Duffers confirmed via Twitter that the series will not film until the strike is over. And now, there’s the actors’ strike to factor in as well. Hopefully, the networks and studios offer the writers and actors a good deal soon.
Usually, Netflix lets fans know when the series starts production with a cool table read or reunion-type video. That’s happened in the past. But, because Stranger Things has gotten so big, we can usually find out when the cast is back to work based on fans keeping tabs on production in Georgia, where Stranger Things season 5 is expected to be filmed.
When Stranger Things season 5 ends production will give viewers a good idea of how long we’ll be waiting for season 5. Based on all of the special effects we’ll likely see (there’s now a massive hole in the middle of Hawkins that they have to create!), it’s going to be a long process.
Harbour mentioned to THR that production will take about one year on season 5.
You know Stranger Things is one of the best Netflix shows right now! When it’s all over, there’s no doubt this will be the biggest and likely best Netflix show to date.
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