[Warning: Spoilers for Stranger Things 2 ]
The writers of Stranger Things 3 are moving quickly to plot out the upcoming season—and it looks like we won’t necessarily be returning to the Upside Down this time. “We’re [going to be] dealing with forces of evil that are new,” executive producer Shawn Levy told Glamour. And while you might assume that the Shadow Monster will return to take its revenge on someone new, like Dustin Henderson or Lieutenant Hopper, Levy said “you would probably end up being wrong.”
“It’ll be an eight- or nine-episode season,” Levy explained. “The number of episodes will be dictated by the amount of story that excites us. We now know what is going to happen in season three to every character.”
And what are those arcs going to look like? Levy didn’t give away too many details, but he did mention some characters’ fates. “We’re going to give Will [Byers] a break,” he said. “We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He’ll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah Schnapp to play.”
Meanwhile, newly minted best buds Steve Harrington and Dustin Henderson will get to continue their friendship in the third season. “In season two, it was all very cute and there was a funny factor to it because it was unexpected,” said Levy, “but now that it is expected, I want to see them connect more and be more familiar with each other. I want them to have a connection like they’ve really had a connection for a year—like they’re brothers.” Levy also pointed out that, since Dustin’s never had a male role model in his life, “Steve is definitely someone in that sense who could be that person to him.”
If Stranger Things really does head in a totally new direction with its Big Bad, I’ll be curious to see what it is. It’s a smart idea to branch out and evolve, but it’s inevitably risky.
I know it’s a ways away, but what are you all hoping to see in the new season?
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