Stranger Things season 5: Release date, spoilers, cast, news and trailers

9 May 2023, 12:57 | Updated: 9 May 2023, 14:07

Stranger Things Cast vs. 'The Most Impossible Stranger Things Quiz' | PopBuzz Meets

By Katie Louise Smith

When does Stranger Things 5 come out? Creators Matt and Ross Duffer have now confirmed that season 5 will be the end of the Netflix series.

Stranger Things fans, it's official – Stranger Things 5 has finally been confirmed as the final season of the Netflix series.

In a statement alongside the release date for Stranger Things 4, the show’s creators, the Duffer brothers, said: "Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurtling towards our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last."

The latest news about Stranger Things 5?

  • Production on Stranger Things 5 has been suspended in solidarity with the writers strike.
  • Stranger Things 5 filming was scheduled to begin in May/June 2023.
  • If filming starts in mid-2023, it could possibly mean that a late-2024 release date could be on the cards.
  • Stranger Things 5 episode 1 will be titled 'The Crawl'.
  • Season 5's storyline will also take place entirely in Hawkins, with Will Byers as the main focus.
  • Season 5 will echo the vibe of season 1, but on a much bigger scale.

But when will it be released? What will in happen in season 5? And who will be returning to the cast? Look, we know it's a loooong way off but, here's everything we know about Stranger Things season 5 so far...

When does Stranger Things 5 come out on Netflix?

Stranger things season 5: Everything we know about the final season
Stranger things season 5: Everything we know about the final season. Picture: Netflix

Will there be a Stranger Things 5?

Yes, Stranger Things 5 is happening – and it will be the final season.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ross Duffer previously said: "Season four won’t be the end. We know what the end is, and we know when it is. [The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story."

It sounds like the Duffer brothers are confident that they can deliver another iconic season of the show, which is a really great sign considering how incredible season 4 was.

When will Stranger Things 5 be released?

Well, that all depends on when the season begins filming. In August 2022, the Duffer brothers confirmed that they have started writing season 5. Other cast members have hinted that filming could begin around mid-2023, which could indicate a possible late-2024 release date. (Although, that's obviously unconfirmed right now.)

In an interview with Variety, the Duffer brothers said: "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."

However, it now seems like there will be an indefinite delay after the Duffer brothers shared their support for the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and the current writers strike. (More on that below.)

Speaking to JoBlo Celebrity Interviews, David Harbour hinted that it could take around 8-9 months to film the final season of the show. Fans will likely have a better idea once production officially begins on season 5.

Finn Wolfhard also recently sparked speculation that fans might have to wait until 2025 for the fifth season after saying he'll be 22 by the time it's be released. Finn's 22nd birthday will fall on December 23rd 2024. In a GQ interview, Finn said: "By the time it comes out, I will be 22, I think. I will be able to drink with Gaten and Caleb and Noah at the premiere of Stranger Things 5."

Has Stranger Things 5 been delayed?

It looks like there will now be an indefinite delay to the start of production on Stranger Things 5 – but it's for a good reason.

In May 2023, the Writers Guild of America went on strike in order to secure fairer pay for its members, particularly in the streaming era. The Duffer brothers are supporting the writers, and have confirmed that production will not begin until the strike is over and a fair deal between the writers and studios, networks and streaming services has been reached.

In a tweet, the Duffer brothers wrote: "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"

There is no telling how long this strike will last. Back in 2007-2008, writers went on strike for 100 days before a deal was reached. Industry insiders are predicting that this strike could last longer. We'll update this article when more news is shared.

When does Stranger Things 5 start filming?

There's currently no official confirmation on exactly when filming will begin on season 5.

Noah Schnapp has shared that he was set to start filming in May 2023. In a livestream, Noah responded to a fan who asked if "school would interfere with shooting" the final season. He said that he'll start filming after his college classes finish in May. At a recent film & comic con event, David Harbour also shared that he was set to begin filming in June 2023.

As the date gets closer, more information will no doubt be revealed by the official accounts – including footage of the first table read. However, it's been stated by the Duffers that no filming will begin until the writers strike is over.

READ MORE: Stranger Things creators reveal their plans for season 5 made Netflix execs cry

Noah Schnapp confirms Stranger Things 5 starts filming in May 2023

Will there be a time jump in Stranger Things 5?

As any fan of Stranger Things will know, every season starts with a little bit of a time jump. The timeline jumped from November/December 1983 in season 1 to October 1984 in season 2, and then to July 1985 in season 3. Season 4 takes place in March 1986, eight months after the Battle of Starcourt.

Now it seems like the Duffer brothers might be considering another time-jump. Speaking to TVLine, they said a lengthy gap is almost unavoidable because of the ages of the younger actors: "I’m sure we will do a time jump. Ideally, we’d have shot [Seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that."

During David Harbour's appearance at the Middle East Film & Comic Con, he hinted that quite a bit of time may have passed when we return because Hopper's physique will be different to the last time we saw him: "Now he's back in town, and he's back in America, where they have cheeseburgers. So he will have been well fed for season 5."

What year will Stranger Things 5 be set in?

Each season of Stranger Things takes place one year later, but it remains to be seen whether season 5 will take place in 1987. With the Upside Down spreading fast in Hawkins, and the threat of Vecna becoming very very immediate, just how far forward in the timeline will they jump?

We'll update this article as soon as we know more information.

If the show goes beyond March 1988 then it could coincide with the release of Beetlejuice which, of course, stars the real life superstar Winona Ryder. And there's no way a show that references pop culture as much as Stranger Things could ignore that...

READ MORE: Stranger Things 5 will feature a time jump

How many episodes will Stranger Things 5 have?

We'll have to wait for confirmation about the length of season 5, but considering seasons 1 and 3 had 8 episodes, and seasons 2 and 4 had nine episodes, season 5 will likely be around the same length. It all depends on how much story the Duffer brothers want to tell in the final season.

The episode runtimes will likely be much shorter than season 4's episodes, too – except for the series finale. The Duffer brothers have said the final episode of season 5 will last "at least two hours," but not as long as the final episode of season 4.

In other interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Duffer teased that the finale "will be pretty massive."

What are the Stranger Things 5 episode titles?

Well, the finally have our first episode title for the final season. Announced on November 6th 2022 for Stranger Things Day, season 5 episode 1's title was revealed to be: 'The Crawl'.

Now, what the hell does that mean? Does it reference Vecna's 'crawl' away from the Creel House after being shot out of the window by Nancy? Does it reference one of the characters 'crawling' into the Upside Down? Is it a reference to the lyrics of Metallica's 'Master of Puppets'? "Come crawling faster"? EDDIE?!

Fans have a theory that it could refer to Dungeons & Dragons dungeon crawl, which involves the party navigating a monster-packed maze. With the hint from the Duffer brothers that season 5 will be "moving pretty fast" when it opens, could the characters be heading into the Upside Down in the first episode?

Will Stranger Things 5 be the final season?

Yes. Stranger Things season 5 will be the final season of the show, but it won't be the end of the Stranger Things universe.

In statement discussing the future of the franchise and the season 4 release date, the Duffer brothers said: "There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes."

In an interview with Collider, David Harbour said that season 4 lays the groundwork for the ending of the show: "We're introducing new stuff, but we're also tightening and wrapping up in a certain direction. To make it have a clear, clean, specific, and definite ending at some point, which I can't really talk about.”

Producer Shawn Levy also told Collider in a separate interview that he and the Duffer brothers have the end in sight: "There is a plan and that too will be shared not quite as soon as a sense of when season four is coming out, but soon enough."

He continued: "I can say this. No one’s making it up as we go along and there is an endgame, if you will."

READ MORE: Stranger Things prequel play: Start date, ticket prices, cast, plot and how it connects to the series

Watch the trailer for Stranger Things 4 Volume 2


WARNING: Stranger Things 4 spoilers ahead!
WARNING: Stranger Things 4 spoilers ahead! Picture: Netflix

What will happen in Stranger Things 5?

Now that season 4 has been released, we finally have some idea as to what might happen in season 5.

Viewers have now learned about Vecna, his history, his origins and his connection to Eleven. And now that we know he's still looming over Hawkins thanks to Will's senses, season 5 will obviously continue that storyline. Oh, and there's the small matter of the Upside Down now breaking through into Hawkins itself.

In an interview with Variety, the Duffer brothers teased that the remaining mysteries of the Upside Down will be the main focus of season 5 – including the significance of the Upside Down being stuck on the date that was Will was taken back in 1983.

"We don't actually resolve that this season but it plays that moment where they realise it's frozen in time," they said. "It's a huge part of season 5 and so, we just wanted to just put it out there, and get people talking about it and thinking about it."

Stranger Things 4 ends with the Upside Down infecting Hawkins
Stranger Things 4 ends with the Upside Down infecting Hawkins. Picture: Netflix

At the end of season 4, Hawkins has been torn into pieces by Vecna and it's now home to a huge gateway between the real world and the Upside Down. The Upside Down now appears to be spreading throughout Hawkins, as we see in the final scene where Eleven walks out into the field by Hopper's cabin to find the grass and flowers dying.

Teasing season 5 on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt and Ross Duffer revealed that there will be none of the usual character set up we've grown accustomed to over the past seasons: "It’s gonna be moving – I don’t know if it’s gonna be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5 – but it’s gonna be moving pretty fast. Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already gonna have a goal and a drive."

However, seeing as it is the last season, the Duffers have promised that the show will take time to wrap up character arcs: "A lot of these characters have been growing since season one so it’s a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up loose ends and doing our final reveals.”

Natalia Dyer “feels bad” that Nancy left Steve for Jonathan in Stranger Things season 1

Season 5 will also take place in Hawkins, echoing the vibe of season 1 but on a much bigger scale. The Stranger Things writers have teased "season 5 is like if season 1 and 4 had a baby. And then that baby was injected with steroids."

"It’s going to feel a lot larger in scale than season 1, but we wanna go back to a lot of things we did in season 1, a lot of original groupings and parings - there’s something nice about coming full scale," the brothers teased. "It’s gonna feel bigger than season 1, much more massive in terms of the stakes and the scale, but we wanna revisit a lot of things we did in season 1."

Adding to that, Matt and Ross also revealed that season 5 will be "a culmination of all of the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each, whereas before each season was so distinct — three, this is our big summer blockbuster season with our big monster; four was the psychological horror."

Ross continued: "I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit in the tone of [season] one, but scale-wise it’s more in line with what [season] four is."

"Hopefully it’s got a little bit of everything.”

READ MORE: Stranger Things 5 will focus on Will and Vecna will return as the villain

Who is Vecna in Stranger Things 4?
Vecna will return in Stranger Things 5. Picture: Netflix

Elsewhere, season 5 will likely delve into what actually happened to Max. Max was killed by Vecna in the season 4 finale, but she came back to life and is now in a coma (albeit, confirmed braindead and blind). Eleven appeared to have revived her using her happy memories, but the season ended before that was explained.

The Duffer brothers have now revealed that the fact that Max is in a coma will be "incredibly relevant" to season 5's storyline.

"Season 5, and the fact that she's in the coma...I can't really get into the details but it is important that she is," Matt Duffer teased. "And that is going to have a major effect on 5. It's not a 'cheat', it's incredibly relevant to 5."

Stranger Things 5: Max's coma will be very important to the storyline
Stranger Things 5: Max's coma will be very important to the storyline. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 5 ending: What have the Duffer brothers said?

In November 2022, the Duffer brothers teased that the show's ending will incorporate some old ideas they pitched for season 2 that never ended up making it into that particular season. "For Season 5, we're pulling from a lot of those big Season 2 ideas," they revealed. "A lot of our big ending stuff has pulled from stuff that we thought was going to be in Season 2."

While they didn’t reveal exactly what they were pulling from their leftover ideas, they did tease that they were revisiting and reworking a lot of the stuff that they originally pitched to Netflix. They also added that their original ending has now changed, and what happens in the final season is different to what they originally envisioned.

"Even the ending is a little bit different [now]," added Matt. "A lot of the big ideas are the same, but the stuff that happens within, it's very different."

Noah Schnapp also recently teased that the ending will come full circle for Will. Speaking to Forbes, Noah said: "I think they did a great job with Will's character this season, and beautifully addressed everything they needed to. The way they closed the show is just perfect — the story started with Will, and it’ll end with Will.”

Additionally, Finn Wolfhard has teased that fans can hopefully expect happy endings for their favourite characters. "What’s going to be so awesome about season five is that the Duffers are sort of trying to thread this needle of trying to get every character to have their perfect ending," he told IndieWire. "So I’m excited to see what ends up happening.”

Stranger Things 5 cast: Who will return?

Let's start with the good news, shall we? The returning cast members for Stranger Things 5 include: Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Noah Schnapp (Will), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Priya Ferguson (Erica), Joe Keery (Steve), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Maya Hawke (Robin).

Seeing as Max is in a coma, Sadie Sink will also return but who knows in what capacity. We'll have to wait and see what happens with her storyline.

And of course, Winona Ryder and David Harbour will be back in business as Mom and Dad, a.k.a. Joyce and Hopper, who are now (finally!) together as a couple.

Brett Gelman (Murray) and Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler) will hopefully return. And while his whereabouts are currently unknown, it's possible that we could see Paul Reiser's Dr. Owens again. Seeing as he didn't die and is now presumably in hiding in the U.S. with Murray, we could also see the return of Tom Wlaschiha's Dmitri/Enzo. (It's unclear if Nikola Đuričko's Yuri will be back.)

Basically, anyone who didn't die could return in season 5. And to be honest, anyone who is dead could also pop back up in flashbacks or Vecna's visions.

The Duffer brothers have also explained that they're trying not to add anymore new characters to season 5. Explaining why to IndieWire, they said: "We’re doing our best to resist [adding new characters] for Season 5. We’re trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess."

READ MORE: Stranger Things creators confirm Max is now braindead and blind

Stranger Things 5: Will Eddie Munson return?
Stranger Things 5: Will Eddie Munson return? Picture: Netflix

Will Eddie Munson be in Stranger Things 5?

Despite his definitive death in season 4, fans are desperate to see Joseph Quinn's Eddie Munson somehow return in season 5.

As previously mentioned, Eddie could realistically pop up in flashbacks using footage from season 4. But with Vecna still on the loose, there's also a possibility that Dustin's traumatic visions could conjure up an undead version of Eddie, much like Billy in Max's vision. But that's all speculation at the moment, of course.

As for the elaborate theory about Eddie returning as Kas the Bloody Handed? For now, it remains a theory. A good one, but still just a theory.

Will Vecna be in Stranger Things 5?

Yes, Jamie Campbell Bower will be back in business as the Upside Down villain. At the end of season 5, Nancy shot a burning Vecna out of the window at the Creel House and viewers saw him lying on the ground. We later found out that he had disappeared.

In an interview with NME, Jamie teased his return: “He’s pissed, he’s properly vexed. I don’t think he’s slunk off licking his wounds in misery. He’s rebuilding, and he’s out for blood. It’s like, you’ve really fucking pushed the buttons now, that classic Jason Voorhees thing – you’ve made a big mistake."

Although he doesn’t know what season 5 has in store yet, Jamie also teased: "I think Vecna and Will have a connection that’s yet to be explored."

Read more about Stranger Things 5 here:

The Cast of Stranger Things rap a recap of the previous seasons