We all knew it was coming. Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers have already spoken about what we’ll see in season two of the smash hit Netflix series. Netflix, however, was mysteriously quiet about the show’s renewal. Earlier this morning, that changed. Check out the official announcement below!
— Netflix US (@netflix) August 31, 2016
Here are the facts: season two will indeed take place in the fall of 1984, one year after the first season began. The premiere date will be sometime next year. But that’s not all — The Duffer Brothers spoke to Entertainment Weekly, offering substantial details about what season two will offer.
Instead of the first season’s eight chapters, season two will have nine. In the announcement video above, it would appear that the chapter titles are as follows:
Chapter One: MADMAX
Chapter Two: The Boy Who Came Back to Life
Chapter Three: The Pumpkin Patch
Chapter Four: The Palace
Chapter Five: The Storm
Chapter Six: The Pollywog
Chapter Seven: The Secret Cabin
Chapter Eight: The Brain
Chapter Nine: The Lost Brother
You may notice that Chapter One is an anomaly — it doesn’t adhere to the show’s naming template. All eight titles in the first season all began with “the”, but only eight out of the nine chapters in season two follow this convention. Why? That may be because it doesn’t follow our main characters. According to show creator Matt Duffer, the opening scene of the premiere will not take place in Hawkins, Indiana. Where could that be? “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer said to EW. But on Stranger Things, that could mean another dimension.
But the episode list above isn’t set in stone. They may not even be in the correct order. But that still leaves one dangling question: What is MADMAX, and what does it have to do with Stranger Things‘s next season? Perhaps the Mad Max films will have an influence on the season’s story or structure. But when it comes to other influences, the Duffer brothers are looking to blockbuster sequels — specifically, the sequels of James Cameron. “I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work,” Matt explained.
The Duffers also revealed that, as expected, the show will revisit the Upside Down. But with the old comes new: fans can expect to see four new characters join the show next year. We don’t know anything about these new characters yet, but I expect we’ll hear some casting news in a few months.
Now, some further speculation: season two may take place closer to Halloween than the first season. That’d be a lot of fun, and will give the series another horror aesthetic to explore. They won’t be able to top E.T.‘s iconic Halloween sequence, but being better than E.T. was never the show’s goal in the first place.
The Pollywog is likely a new creature for the show. Pollywog (or Polliwog) is another word for tadpole. I’m willing to bet that’s got something to do with the slugs that Will Byers has been barfing up. Thanks to the show’s homages to Alien and Aliens, many fans have speculated that the slug creatures are an early stage in the life cycle of the Demogorgon, or perhaps another monster entirely.