Netflix Wanted ‘Stranger Things’ 3 and 4 Shot Back-to-Back (Because of Puberty)
There’s good reason child actors rarely hang around genre TV, as cameras capture their growth faster than stories can tell. The Stranger Things kids too will seem noticeably older in Season 2, and Netflix even hoped to shoot the next two seasons back-to-back to avoid that pesky puberty.
Keep in mind that Netflix has not declared a formal greenlight for Stranger Things 3 or 4 (let’s be honest, the Duffer brothers have carte blanche), but the breakout series will surely follow its young stars through adolescence, much as a generation of moviegoers grew up with the Harry Potter kids. That thought was apparently too icky for Netflix, however, as a Hollywood Reporter piece reveals that Netflix hoped to have Seasons 3 and 4 shot back-to-back, until the Duffers balked at such an intense schedule:
A source with knowledge of the Stranger Things world says Netflix had hoped to shoot seasons three and four back-to-back to get ahead of any potentially awkward adolescent transitions for its young actors. ‘Every time you have a show that relies so heavily on the charm of kids, you want to capture that,’ says this person.
But the powers involved — including, of course, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer and executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen — are said to have vetoed that idea. The writers room is small, as is the roster of producers, and a source says they did not deem it possible to turn out episodes that quickly. (All declined to comment.) Instead, says the source, the plan is to create stories that feel true to where the actors are, in terms of age, at the time the episodes are shot.
We’ll grant that the toothless charm of Season 1’s Gaten Matarazzo or Mike’s feelings for Eleven work best in a younger context, but there’s no reason future Stranger Things will be any less monstrous hits with characters visibly older. Like the aforementioned Potter series or Game of Thrones, audiences will connect with these young heroes regardless. Not to mention, creators have expressed bigger concern with justifying Hawkins’ yearly supernatural events; not the cracking voices of characters living them.
October will tell if Stranger Things 2 loses any of its youthful charm, but will Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Dustin and Will be riding dirtbikes when Season 4 rolls around?