This year we will be returning to the town of Hawkins for the third season of Stranger Things, and it’s set to be the ‘darkest yet’.
Having suffered withdrawal symptoms since season two ended in 2017, I can’t wait to see what dangers await Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will and co. when the show returns on July 4.
Netflix confirmed the date with a teaser video on December 31 last year, which featured vintage footage from Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and some upside down fireworks.
Check it out here:
While Netflix are keeping shtum over plot details, we do know season three is set in 1985, less than a year after the events of season two.
But that’s pretty much it as Netflix are pros at teasing fans, keeping them in the dark until the show hits the streaming service.
To make a prediction though *spoilers* since season two ends with a shot of the Mind Flayer towering over the kids’ school in the Upside Down, the mysterious monster is likely to make a return.
Also, although the portal to the Upside Down has been shut off, I am sure it won’t stay closed for long.
With the Upside Down filled with terrifying monsters, such as the Mind Flayer and Demogorgons, Stranger Things has always been scary.
However, things are only going to get more chilling in season three as Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) revealed in an interview with UNILAD.
Catching up with Gaten at the For The Love of Sci-Fi convention in December last year, although he couldn’t reveal much about season three, the actor promised it would be ‘darker’, ‘funnier’ and more intense.
He told UNILAD:
The next season is definitely darker, the darkest yet. And it is definitely bigger.
It is eight episodes and it comes out in summer and takes place in the summer of 1985. While it is darker and intensified, it is also funnier.
Gaten also added that we can expect to see more of ‘Dad Steve’ in season three after the character’s development made a big splash with fans in 2017.
Joe Keery’s character Steve Harrington became a father-like role model for the kids, especially Dustin, in the second season.
‘Dad Steve’ drove Dustin to his school’s winter dance and gave the youngster advice on everything from hair to girls.
Fans loved the two characters’ new friendship, and so did Gaten who described it to UNILAD as his ‘favourite part’ from the show so far.
I loved the development of Steve and Dustin’s relationship. It has been my favourite part of filming the show.
Working with Joe was spectacular. It was just… funny. They didn’t know the friendship was going to happen but it just clicked and worked.
They were in the middle of writing and after episode five they knew what they were going to do with everyone except Steve and Dustin who both didn’t really have a direction at the time. They were alone, not with each other and there was so much going on, and so they were like ‘Hey, let’s get them together’. They thought ‘Why not’.
But the trick was how to get them together. Dustin needed a ride and it took off from there. Then ‘Dad Steve’ became a thing.
As Gaten described, the ‘Dad Steve’ development just ‘clicked’, much like how the show did despite fears it wouldn’t work.
One of the most popular television shows of the past decade, Stranger Things is quite the phenomenon but as Gaten explains, no one predicted its success:
I don’t think you can predict anything like the success it has had, no matter how good the script it. There is an element of the ‘right place, right time’ but it is also about casting, direction, advertising, everything comes into account.
Nowadays it doesn’t just matter if the show is good or not. It really depends upon how it is approached and thankfully it all came together for us. Of course Matt and Ross’ [Duffer, the show’s creators] work is really extraordinary and inspiring, and working with them is amazing. That’s what really took off but the momentum of everything combined helped.
The nostalgia of it, the availability, it appeals to so many different age groups and people. There is so much to love about it. A lot of people were scared about the show as they thought it was going to be a huge mess. They said you can’t fit that many themes and genres into one series but it was balanced very well.
Not only has the show garnered millions of fans, but is also a critical success, earning 31 Emmy nominations, four Golden Globe nominations and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2017.
While Gaten has loved starring in Stranger Things, he admits it will probably be a while until he takes on another major role in a television series.
Asking 16-year-old Gaten where does he see himself in 10 years’ time, he told UNILAD he hopes to have been to college, starred in a film and returned to the theatre (Gaten began his career on Broadway starring in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Les Misérables).
I want to do some film work. I haven’t done a film before. I also want to return to theatre. I was on Broadway before Stranger Things and theatre is my passion. While it is the hardest work I have done so far in my life, it was also the most satisfying.
I definitely want to go to college. I don’t know where quite yet but I want a theatre education in either musical theatre, acting theory or script analysis maybe.
People assume because I do the show I have just dropped out of school but I wouldn’t have done the show if that was the case. Education is really important to me. I think people should just value their ability to receive an education more.
It upsets me when kids at school or kids on certain sets think they are above school because they have a career. It is very important because who knows what is going to go on, what is going to happen in the film industry. You have no idea what will happen.
I don’t think I will be doing a major role in a television show for a long time. Just personally, it is a lot of work and takes up so much of my time. I auditioned when I was 12 for Stranger Things. I am 16 now and I am still doing it. I do love it!
Gaten will be working on Stranger Things for the foreseeable future as the Duffer brothers and Netflix hope to make five seasons of the hit show.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2017, the Duffer brothers said they are envisioning Stranger Things will run for four or five seasons, although admitted that it could all change.
This number appears to now be set at five as Gaten told UNILAD the Duffers are ‘planning something special’ for what would be the show’s final season.
Although Gaten did add he can’t confirm the show will run for five seasons, he said:
Five is their magic number but nothing you can confirm just yet. They [the Duffer brothers] wanted to do four at first and then there was this whole thing as Netflix would love to do more seasons.
I think five is now the magic number and I think the Duffers are planning something very special for five. Something a little different.
While that does sound very, very exciting, I just want season three to drop already. Can July just hurry up please!
The third season of Stranger Things will be released on July 4 on Netflix.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.