Stranger Things 4 planning session

Everything We Know About ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5: The Release Date, Cast, Plot & More!

Volume 2 of Stranger Things season 4 premiered on July 1st, 2022, officially wrapping up the season and breaking all of our hearts in the process. The finale included a devastating loss, as well as a very emotional reunion. However, it also left off pretty ambiguously, leaving us all wondering what the fate of Hawkins, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and her friends will be.

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Fortunately, there’s no fear of not getting answers, as Stranger Things was already officially renewed for a 5th, and final, season back in February. The Duffer brothers explained that, from the beginning, they had planned for Stranger Things to run for 4-5 seasons. Now that we’ve seen Stranger Things season 4, we know what they meant about it being a necessity to extend the story into a 5th season. But even though it will be the show’s last season, there have been hints that the Duffer brothers have spin-off ideas, too.

Also, while it will be bittersweet end to Stranger Things, we seriously need answers—so season 5 can’t come soon enough. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season 5 so far.

Stranger Things season 5 release date

Stranger Things season 5 has not started filming yet (ugh!) and the Duffer brothers haven’t given a date for when filming will begin. This means it could be a bit before we have season 5. Still, though, it’s unlikely we’ll have a nearly 3-year wait, as occurred between season 3 and season 4. The large break was mainly due to covid-19 delays. Outside of the pandemic, the Stranger Things seasons tended to release within 1-2 years of each other. Once Stranger Things season 4 wrapped filming, it still took about 8-months before it was released. Stranger Things Season 5 is expected to release in 2024.

Stranger Things season 5 returning cast

Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, and Gaten Matarazzo in Chapter One: The Hellfire Club (2022)

Right now, we have no clue what new cast members may join Stranger Things. However, we have a pretty good idea of who will be returning. Naturally, we should see all of the original stars make their return—David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, and Joe Keery. All of these cast members have starred in the series since season 1 and will almost certainly be back for the final season. Maya Hawke, though not an original cast member, has also become a staple in the series and we imagine will be back, too.

Meanwhile, we can most likely expect to see most of the recurring/supporting characters back as well. Lucas’s (McLaughlin) sister, Erica (Priah Ferguson), will likely return, as will the Wheeler family—Ted (Joe Chrest), Karen (Cara Buono), and Holly (Anniston and Tinsley Price). Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) has also become a staple character and is likely to return. New season 4 cast member, Argyle (Eduardo Franco) will also hopefully be back. Also, Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) is certain to return as, though he may be injured, he’s clearly still alive.

Sheriff Powell (Rob Morgan) and Officer Callahan (John Reynolds) are recurring characters who have been with us since 2016. Hence, they’ll likely return, as well. We also hope Robin’s (Hawke) love interest, Tammy Thompson (Julia Reilly) returns, because she and Robin are already adorable together.

Stranger Things season 5 uncertain/rumored cast

Victor Creel, and old man with scarred over eyes and a gray beard

Then, there are the characters we’re not sure of. First off is Max (Sadie Sink), who barely survived Vecna’s attack and remains in a coma. While she survived, her bones are broken, she is blind, and Eleven finds nothing when going into her mind. This could mean she is brain dead, making it unclear if she’ll return in season 5 or what her condition may be. Though, it seems her story is probably not yet concluded, as she’s purposely been kept alive.

The fate of Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) is also unclear, but we hope he’ll be back. We also don’t know what happened to Hopper’s (Harbour) acquaintances from Russia, Dimitri (Tom Wlaschiha) and Yuri (Nikola Đuričko). It seems likely they went back to their own homes/families, so it’s uncertain if they’ll return for season 5. It’s also uncertain if Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan (Sherman Augustus) will continue his search for Eleven (Brown). And Victor Creel (Robert Englund) had only a brief appearance in season 4, but could potentially return for season 5.

As for the rumored cast—we really want to see Linnea Berthelsen reprise her role as number 8. She’s the only living “sister” of Eleven, but hasn’t been seen since season 2. Surely, she must serve some further purpose before the series concludes.

Another character who could make a surprise return is Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins). She is Eleven’s mother and is still living, though her mental state is destroyed. Eleven still has flashbacks of her, though, and may revisit her in search of more answers. Also, while this is pretty far out there, I’d love to see Eleven’s biological father revealed in season 5. The man has been unknown since season 1 and viewers would love for that one mystery to be resolved before the season ends.

Stranger Things season 5 plot

Stranger Things clock in season 4 trailer

The plot of Stranger Things season 5 isn’t known, of course, but we have some theories. One thing that the Duffer brothers have said, is that they’re pretty sure season 5 will feature a time jump. A time jump is necessary given the ages of the actors. They simply won’t be able to portray high schoolers anymore as they near their 20s, so a time jump of about 2-3 years is expected. The only other detail the Duffer brothers revealed, was that season 5 will be action-packed from episode 1.

A time jump, though, means there’s not going to be an immediate resolution for the Upside Down leaking into Hawkins from the massive gate opened by Vecna. This leads us to think that the 2-3 year gap will be the characters’ preparation. During this time, Venca will recuperate, Eleven will enhance her powers, and the team will have a game plan for how to rid Hawkins of the Upside Down. Additionally, the time jump also likely means a lot of questions will be resolved in that gap.

After 2-3 years, there should be many answers to our biggest questions—if Jonathan (Heaton) and Nancy (Dyer) stay together, where they go to college, if Max recovers, if Will (Schnapp) admits his feelings to Mike (Wolfhard), if Robin and Tammy are together, and how Hopper and Joyce’s (Ryder) relationship pans out. If season 5 does have a time jump, a lot of these questions will be answered pretty quickly. And a fast answer to all lingering questions will allow the action to commence immediately.

Stranger Things season 5 fan theories

Max & the crew in Stranger Things Season 4

Obviously, season 4 left us with loads of questions. This, in turn, led to many fan theories. Most fan theories are surrounding Max. They range from her being brain-dead, to her recovering with superpowers. Her blank mind could mean her soul is still in the Upside Down or captured by Venca. On the other hand, she did appear to have a strong connection with Eleven. Also, when Eleven brought her back to life, she utilized seemingly new powers and it’s unknown what the effects on Max could be. Really, the Duffer brothers could go in any direction with Max. This potential likely means she’ll be a central plot point in season 5.

Another fan theory, is that Number 1/Vecna is Eleven’s biological father. It certainly would explain why Eleven’s powers are so superior. Also, the math actually does work out and would place Number 1 at 24-years-old at the time of Eleven’s birth. Still, it’s a pretty wild theory.

Another theory, hinted at by the Duffer brothers, is the significance of the Upside Down being frozen in time. In season 4, it was revealed that the Upside Down is stuck on November 6, 1983—the day Will went missing. While we have no idea why the Upside Down is stuck, or what it means, it is significant. The Duffer brothers have confirmed it will be explored in season 5. Hence, the season will get to the bottom of what that date really means.

Stay tuned for more updates and theories regarding Stranger Things season 5!

(featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.