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Stranger Things' Ending Is Already Worked Out, According to the Duffer Brothers

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) may be on opposite ends of the planet, but they’re still family.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) may be on opposite ends of the planet, but they’re still family.
Photo: Netflix

There might be a lot of mystery surrounding the town of Hawkins, Indiana, but one thing that isn’t a secret is how the story of Netflix’s Stranger Things is going to end. At least not to the guys making the show, that is.


In an interview with Deadline, brothers Ross and Matt Duffer chatted about the growing world of Stranger Things, the (now-halted) progress on Stranger Things 4, and how they’ve been keeping busy during quarantine. Last we left off with season three, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and her kids were moving out of town, and Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) was stuck in a Russian prison camp. It’s quite a departure for the series, but Matt Duffer said it was all part of their grand plan. After all, they already know exactly where they’re headed.


“We’ve known the ending of the show for quite awhile,” Matt Duffer said. “The honest truth is we didn’t know if we’d go beyond season one, so we like the idea of season one that it could function basically as its own standalone piece, like almost as a limited series. But it had the potential to go beyond that. And if it were to go beyond that, we had an idea of where it would go. Yeah, and we have an ending in mind.”

He added that, while both of them love working on the series, they know it can’t continue forever—and would rather end on a high note than let it drag through the dirt for more seasons than necessary. “We don’t want to just keep churning it out,” he said. “I feel like if we lose excitement or enthusiasm for it, then the audience’s enthusiasm will drop as well.”

Of course, nothing can really happen right now, so long as everyone is still social distancing because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The brothers said they completed about three weeks of filming before having to shut down, which Ross Duffer said means they have “most of the season finished.” However, with the young cast continually getting older, having to take a few months off between scenes could lead to some weird inconsistencies (unless they go the It: Chapter 2 route and digitally de-age them). Ross Duffer acknowledged there they may have to be some adjustments to the script once they come back. It wouldn’t be the first time.

“The trick is, it takes us awhile to write these scripts. And so sometimes we’ll show up on set and go, ‘Oh my god, you sprouted up more than what I had in my head. I knew you were going to grow, but i didn’t think you were gonna grow that much.’ You have to adjust once you start filming,” Ross Duffer said. “In this case, when we have most of the season finished, hopefully we’ll be able to go back before they’re too old.”


Stranger Things 4 is set to debut (hopefully) sometime in 2021.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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Prof. Bananas Goldsteinberg

They really should wrap it up with this season. Maybe one more but that’s pushing it. S2 wasn’t as strong imo. Not terrible but weaker than S1. S3 was pretty solid. But it’s getting a little long in the tooth.