'Stranger Things' season 4 release coming in May with season 5 to be the last

Stranger Things season 4 poster
(Image credit: Netflix)

Get ready for the return of Stranger Things, as the premiere date for the latest season of the hit Netflix original series is coming this summer with what the creators are calling the biggest season yet. It’s so big that Stranger Things season 4 will be broken up into two halves.

The season 4 release date wasn’t the only major news regarding Stranger Things, however. It was also shared that the show has been renewed for season 5, which will actually serve as the closing chapter of Stranger Things’ story. Plus, there was a hint of potential spinoff series.

First things first though. In a letter from Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer, the brothers reveal that Stranger Things season 4 volume one will debut on the streaming service on May 27 and volume two five weeks later on July 1. For U.S. viewers, that potentially sets up perfectly for bingeing, as those are the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends, respectively.

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The decision to break Stranger Things season 4 into two parts, according to the Duffer brothers, is that the season's nine episodes have a runtime that is “nearly twice the length of any previous season.”

There’s certainly a lot to tell. When we last left the town of Hawkins (SPOILER ALERT), our unlikely band of heroes were separated. Eleven and the Byers have moved away, while we know that Hopper was mysteriously wound up in a Soviet prison camp. Plus, the characters are dealing with a brand new threat — high school. 

The synopsis from Netflix reads, “In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”

Stranger Things' main cast of Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Gaten Matarazzo, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Maya Hawke, Winoa Ryder and David Harbour are all set to return for Stranger Things season 4.

Here's a teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4:

The other news that Stranger Things season 5 will be the final season of the show may be a gut punch to fans who love it, but it was always the general plan according to the Duffer brothers. In their letter, they say their original vision of the story would last four or five seasons.

However, the end of Stranger Things may not mean the end of the universe it created. The letter teases “There are still more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.” While nothing has been confirmed, it certainly sounds like some spinoffs could be coming down the line.

You can catch up with all three seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix ahead of its season 4 debut on May 27. Check out the poster for Stranger Things season 4 below.

Stranger Things season 4 poster

(Image credit: Netflix)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).