'Stranger Things' Season 4 Will Be “Very, Very Long”

Get ready for more 'Stranger Things' ... a lot of it.
Get ready for more 'Stranger Things' ... a lot of it. / Courtesy of Netflix

We haven’t seen new episodes of Stranger Things since July of 2019, when the third season dropped on Netflix. That means we’ve been waiting three years to find out what happened to Hopper (who is alive, somehow), whether Eleven will get back her powers, whether the gang will get back together after the Byers family moved to California, and more.

Part of the reason for that long wait is, of course, the pandemic. But the other part is because the season is supersized, coming out for the first time in two parts.

“I think they’ll be happy when they see it,” showrunner Ross Duffer said on the podcast Present Company With Krista Smith. “It’s very, very long, which is why it’s taking us a very long time.”

Stranger Things season 4 episodes

Duffer's quotes are interesting to hear, because season 4 doesn’t actually have more episodes than usual. There are nine, which is the same number of episodes as there were in season 2. They are:

  • Episode 1: “The Hellfire Club”
  • Episode 2: “Vecna’s Curse”
  • Episode 3: “The Monster and the Superhero”
  • Episode 4: “Dear Billy”
  • Episode 5: “The Nina Project”
  • Episode 6: “The Dive”
  • Episode 7: “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”
  • Episode 8: “Papa”
  • Episode 9: “The Piggyback”

What’s different is that the episodes will be much longer than the typical hour length the show usually aimed for, likely similar to how certain Game of Thrones episodes broke the 80-minute mark in later seasons.

Stranger Things season 4 is “leaning much harder into … horror”

The length might be a function of the more mature tone. As Duffer explained, the kids in the show aren’t exactly kids anymore, so the show has to grow up with them.

“When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are … The Goonies in E.T.,” Duffer said. “That’s their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”

The first batch of episodes from season 4 premieres on May 27. The second batch will come out on July 1.