The lead “kids” in Stranger Things — Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobbie Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Sadie Sink — are all adults now, some even old enough to legally purchase alcohol. The fifth and final season of Stranger Things never started filming due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
As of this writing, Schnapp is 18, Brown is 19, Wolfhard is 20, and McLaughlin, Sink, and Matarazzo are each 21. The season four Stranger Things finale, titled “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback,” aired on July 1, 2022. Season four is set in 1986, with all of the aforementioned actors playing high school characters. Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer reportedly said before the strikes to expect a time jump between season four and the final season. Now the question is, how long of a time jump is realistic as production is on pause and the young actors keep getting older?
Stranger Things Season Five Should Take Place in the 1990s
Up to this point, Stranger Things has a decidedly 1980s vibe. Between the minimalist synth score, characters hanging out in the mall and arcades, debates about the merits of New Coke, or listening to Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” the 1980s is more than the show’s setting, it is almost a character itself. No matter what time jump the Duffer brothers initially had in mind for season five, the aging cast are almost too old to believably play their characters in 1989. Season five will have to take place in the early to mid 1990s, depending on when the strikes end and production resumes.
Brown, who plays Eleven, told Women’s Wear Daily, “I think I’m ready. It’s been such a huge factor in part of my life, but it’s like graduating high school, it’s like senior year. You’re ready to go and blossom and flourish and you’re grateful for the time you’ve had, but it’s time to create your own message and live your own life.”
Matarazzo, who just turned 21 today, told Jimmy Fallon, “It’s interesting to constantly just be reminded how much people have resonated with it. I mean, it’s something that’s so important to all of us and has just been essential to the growth that I’ve had over all of my teenage years into my 20s. It’s the defining aspect of the past 10 years of my life, practically the past decade.”
Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) May 6, 2023
The first episode of Stranger Things Season Five is titled “Chapter One: The Crawl.” A release date is unknown.