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‘Stranger Things’ season 4: Release date, trailer and everything we know about the Netflix original

Stranger Things season four
(Image credit: Netflix)

When Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in 2016 it immediately became a sensation for the streaming service. With its endless ’80s references, fantastic cast and combination of scares and laughs, it’s not a surprise that Stranger Things has gained a fervent fandom.

It’s been more than two years since Stranger Things season three was released, and fans are eager for more. We’ve been getting bits and pieces about what’s going to be happening to the gang from Hawkins in season four; here’s everything that we know so far.

What’s the plot of ‘Stranger Things’?

Stranger Things takes place in the 1980s in the small Indiana town of Hawkins. When a young boy disappears, his friends attempt to find him and meet Eleven, a mysterious young girl with supernatural abilities. As they continue their search, they discover a shady government agency experimenting with other dimensions (called the Upside Down) that threaten the whole town. It’s up to them, along with the local sheriff, Hopper, to stop them.

As the show has progressed, the supernatural phenomena impacting Hawkins have only increased, and Eleven and the rest of the gang are continually forced to confront it, on top of dealing with the normal things teenagers go through.

Things left off in season three with the group foiling a secret Russian mission to weaponize the dimensional portal. In order to close it, Hopper, who had become a surrogate father to Eleven, sacrifices himself to close it. However, in a final scene taking place in a Russian prison, we see Russian guards talking about an American prisoner before feeding another prison to a monster that came from the other the Upside Down.

Official plot details on season four have been kept pretty well under wraps, but we do know that, as many speculated, the American prisoner referred to at the end of season three is indeed Hopper, confirmed in a teaser trailer.

Who is in the ‘Stranger Things’ cast?

The young cast of Stranger Things is the heart of the show. Most of these young actors were complete unknowns when the show debuted in 2016, but they have quickly become stars in their own rights. Here’s a rundown of the principal cast: 

  • Millie Bobby Brown - Eleven
  • Finn Wolfhard - Mike Wheeler 
  • Gaten Matarazzo - Dustin Henderson 
  • Caleb McLaughlin - Lucas Sinclair 
  • Noah Schnapp - Will Byers 
  • Sadie Sink - Max Mayfield 
  • Natalia Dyer - Nancy Wheeler 
  • Charlie Heaton - Jonathan Byers 
  • Winona Ryder - Joyce Byers 
  • David Harbour - Jim Hopper 

Stranger Things season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

A couple of fan favorites from season three have also been upped to series regulars for season four — Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley and Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair.

Another fun thing that Stranger Things does is bring back iconic ‘80s actors. The show has already featured Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Cary Elwes and Paul Reiser, and for season four will feature Robert Englund, Freddy Kreuger from the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Other new cast members will include Jamie Campbell Bower, Eduardo Franco, Joseph Quinn and Tom Wlaschiha.

When is the ‘Stranger Things’ season four release date?

Season three of Stranger Things debuted on Netflix on July 4, 2019. The pandemic did force production of season four to be delayed, but that hasn’t quelled fans’ anticipation. But good news, we have our first inkling of when Stranger Things season four will debut. Bad news, it isn’t until 2022.

Netflix announced in a new teaser trailer that the next season of Stranger Things will arrive sometime in 2022. There wasn’t any kind of hint as to when in 2022 that’ll be, however. 

Both the first and third seasons premiered in July, while the second season launched in October. Since the wheels are starting to turn it would be shocking if Netflix held off releasing Stranger Things season four for more than a year, so if I were a betting man I’d say July 2022 is the longest we would have to wait for the new season, but hopefully sooner.

Is there a ‘Stranger Things’ season four trailer?

There have been three teaser trailers so far for Stranger Things’ fourth season. The first was the one that confirmed that Hopper was indeed alive and is a prisoner somewhere in Russia. The second trailer brought back Matthew Modine’s Dr. Brenner with a voiceover, with the camera traveling through the halls of his old laboratory, coming to a stop on a door marked “11.”

Then the most recent trailer was the one that announced the 2022 release date. It starts off with recalling some of the best moments from the first three seasons, before we’re warned that something is almost here. A series of quick looks at season four footage is then shown, including Hopper with a flamethrower (sweet). Watch below.

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How to catch up with ‘Stranger Things’

New to Stranger Things, or trying to convince someone to start watching it? Well here’s what you need to know to do so. As a Netflix Original, Stranger Things plays exclusively on the streaming service, meaning that a subscription is necessary. A Netflix base subscription starts at $13.99 per month, with other subscriptions available to add things like 4K viewing. 

Whether you’re brand new to Stranger Things or a fan from the beginning itching for a re-watch, all three seasons of Stranger Things are at your disposal on Netflix. 

Will there be a ‘Stranger Things’ season five?

The Duffer brothers, who are the creative minds behind Stranger Things along with producer and director Shawn Levy, said early on in the show’s run that they envisioned the story going either four or five seasons. Well, we’re just about to get the fourth season, is this the end of Stranger Things or will the show return?

Movie website Collider interviewed Levy for his new film Free Guy and asked that very question. Levy revealed that “the end is in sight” and that he and the Duffer brothers have a plan for the endgame. That pretty much assures that there will be at least a fifth season, whether there’s more after that we’ll have to wait and see. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.