We still don’t know when we might get to watch Stranger Things season four, but the Duffer Brothers love to drop little breadcrumbs of information to keep us intrigued.
In February 2020, it was revealed in a teaser trailer that Hopper (David Harbour) was thankfully alive, albeit seemingly as a prisoner in the icy depths of Russia, and now we’ve got some information on the fate of his adopted daughter Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).
In a new teaser for the sci-fi series’ fourth season, we see what appears to be a children’s facility — and a very depressing one at that — with a group of kids playing in a room, all sporting shaved heads and hospital gowns like Eleven when we met her in season one.
Creepily, the children greet Dr Brenner (who we only see from behind) otherwise known as “Papa” before he tells the group, “Today, I have something very special planned for you.”
It throws into question the character’s return after Dr Brenner was supposedly killed in season one, though his body was never seen. His fate was further questioned in season two.
The trailer concludes as the camera pushes into a door marked “11” as a voiceover says, “Eleven, are you listening?”.
Season three of the hit Netflix series dropped on the streamer in 2019 with production of the fourth subsequently delayed by the pandemic.
In an interview with Collider in March 2021, Gaten Matarazzo — who plays Dustin — explained that the hold-up could have actually had an unexpected upside as it changed the way Matt and Ross Duffer worked. The brothers typically direct the first and last two episodes of a season and spend the middle of it writing the back half. The continued disruptions resulted in the two having a much clearer path for the next instalment.
“This year, because of COVID, there’s no excuse for them not to have the [season] written completely,” said Matarazzo. “I think it’s a good thing because now they can take their focus off of what the show is going to be about, and now that they know it, they can focus on how they’re going to deliver. And I think it shows.”
He continued, “That’s never ideal, but honestly for some reason that spur-of-the-moment, ‘we gotta get this done,’ it seems to me like that’s where a lot of their best work comes in. I don’t know if it’s the pressure, I don’t know if it’s them being up all night caffeinated and they just have really crazy frazzled brains that can write really weirdly.”
Whenever Stranger Things is finally able to debut its fourth season, we can expect to see some new faces in the mix. In November 2020, eight new cast members were announced including series regulars Jamie Campbell Bower, Eduardo Franco and Joseph Quinn.