What We Know: Stranger Things – Season 2


By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

When Netflix premiered its pop-culture reference-filled sci-fi show Stranger Things, it took the television viewing community by storm. A second season was officially confirmed only six weeks after the first season was released (although rumor has it the go-ahead came even sooner.) The second season finished filming in May and is coming to the online streaming service soon, and we can hardly wait! To find out what we know about the sophomore season of the hit show, keep reading!

In case you forgot where things left off with the first season of Stranger Things, keep in mind that Will returned, there’s some shifty stuff going on with him and The Upside Down, Eleven is gone, but the breach between the worlds is apparently still open as Police Chief Hopper hangs around (while also under the government’s thumb), and Barb was still dead.

Now that your memory about the conclusion of the premiere season of Stranger Things has been tickled, take a look at all the returning faces for the second season of the show!

• Finn Wolfhard as Mike
• Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas
• Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin
• Noah Schnapp as Will (promoted from a recurring character last season to a series regular)
• Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven
• David Harbour as Jim Hopper
• Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
• Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
• Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
• Natalie Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
• Joe Keery as Steve Harrington
• Matthew Modine as Dr. Brenner

You might notice that there’s no Barb in that list. Producer and director Shawn Levy has made it abundantly clear that she’s really gone. Sorry, Barb fans, the beloved character doesn’t appear to be making a comeback this season.

There are plenty of old faces returning, even if Barb isn’t among them. They are joined by a host of new characters for the season. Here’s a look at them!

• Sadie Sink as Max, a tough 13-year-old skateboarding girl who befriends the troupe of hero boys
• Dacre Montgomery as Billy, 17-year-old stepbrother of Max, a ladies man with a dark side who drives an awesome car
• Linnea Berthelsen as Roman
• Will Chase as Neil Mayfield, father of a new family moving to Hawkins from California (perhaps the father of Max and Billy?)
• Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman, a disgraced journalist turned conspiracy theorist who comes to Hawkins to investigate a cold case
• Sean Astin as Bob Newby, a kind nerd and manager of a RadioShack who went to high school with Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper, a love interest for Joyce
• Paul Reiser as Dr. Owens, a high-ranking official with the Department of Energy tasked with clean-up and damage control in Hawkins

Producers Dan Cohen and Shawn Levy, along with creators and directors Matt and Ross Duffer, are excited about the new crew coming into the second season. On Joyce’s love interest, Bob, Levy stated, “Bob is new to our weird Hawkins group, but he’s immediately memorable, and I think people are going to be very surprised by where that takes them this year.”

New character Billy and his dark side are going to be more than a background story, it seems. On the subject of Billy, Matt Duffer said, “Stephen King always has really great human villains. The evil in the real world is often as bad as or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.”

Meanwhile, casting Reiser as Dr. Owens felt like a stroke of genius to the team. Stranger Things has aligned in more than one way with Aliens, and because of that connection, Reiser felt like the right fit. Ross Duffer said, “We want people to have those debates like, ‘Do you trust that guy or is he Burke?’”

So what are the characters, both new and old, up to with the sophomore season of Stranger Things? There’s the aftermath of Will’s return to deal with, as he seems to be somehow still connected to The Upside Down. Matt Duffer said, “He seems to be seeing images from The Upside Down – the question is whether they’re real or not, so it seems like he’s having some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Finn Wolfhard also explained that the beginning of the season will show something very disturbing happening to Will, which can’t make things any easier.

Meanwhile, Will’s friends are not sure what to make of whatever is wrong with their friend. Gaten Matarazzo said, “[The boys] feel alone because their best friend is back and he’s not acting like their best friend anymore. He’s changed.”

Composer Kyle Dixon reports that the second season of Stranger Things will show The Upside Down as “more of a place…you’ll spend more time [there].” Might that be a result of Will’s apparent tie to the place? Or the open doorway between the two? Or perhaps the potential return of Eleven?

While Police Chief Hopper keeps trying to keep The Upside Down a secret and protect the Byers family, we’ll also get a look at the world beyond Hawkins (the real world, not the dark universe version). Eleven’s backstory will also be made clearer as the season progresses.

In fact, take a look for yourself at the trailer that premiered at San Diego Comic Con this year and get a feel for what’s coming!

Overall, expect more chills and thrills from the second season of Stranger Things (as if you couldn’t tell from the trailer). More than one person associated with the project has reported the season being more horror-oriented, up close and personal this time. David Harbour said of the season, “It’s so fun and dark and complex. The characters all get deeper and develop and we get to take on even greater demons (inner and outer).”

Stranger Things’ second season is likely going to cover about a week-long period of time, much as the show’s first season did. The week will be covered by not eight, but NINE episodes this season! The titles were released in a video (although they may change, as showrunners have found the audience a little too accurate in predictions tied to titles). Here’s the list, in case you missed it.

• Episode 1 – Madmax (Directed by Matt and Ross Duffer)
• Episode 2 – The Boy Who Came Back to Life (Directed by Matt and Ross Duffer)
• Episode 3 – The Pumpkin Patch (Directed by Shawn Levy)
• Episode 4 – The Palace (Directed by Shawn Levy)
• Episode 5 – The Storm (Directed by Andrew Stanton)
• Episode 6 – The Pollywog (Directed by Andrew Stanton)
• Episode 7 – The Secret Cabin (Directed by Rebecca Thomas)
• Episode 8 – The Brain (Directed by Matt and Ross Duffer)
• Episode 9 – The Lost Brother (Directed by Matt and Ross Duffer)

Keep in mind, with a third season on the horizon, the Duffers have promised a cliffhanger ending to the final episode of the season. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was lucky enough to check out the first episode of the second season of the series, and the verdict seems good. He reported, “It delivers on everything that every fan wants” and Netflix has the “sense that it’s going to be really big.”

So mark the calendar for your binge-fest and Stranger Things party for the second season premiere on Friday, October 27, 2017! The makers had mercy upon the populace, shifting the date from a weekday (the 31st) to a Friday, so make sure you’re ready!

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