When is Stranger Things season 5 coming out? Possible release date plus season 4 ending explained

Demand is high for Stranger Things season 5

actress Millie Bobbi Brown in a still from Stranger Things
(Image credit: Future/Netflix)

Stranger Things season 5 looks set to be one of the most anticipated television arrivals following the epic season 4 conclusion. 

When Netflix dropped the final episodes of Stranger Things season 4 Volume 2, the fantasy horror series broke streaming records. Viewers' hearts were also broken with the emotional scenes delivered by the exceptional cast. So it's no surprise that fans are eager to know when season 5 is set to be released - to find out what the ending of season 4 means for the future of the Hawkins gang.

Not only are viewers keen to find out when season 5 could land, but the introduction of a new enemy from the Upside Down raised the question can Demobats kill. The pesky minions of season 5 monster Vecna - we saw the two creatures cause havoc and end lives in the gripping grand finale.

When is Stranger Things season 5 coming out? 

There is currently no confirmed season 5 release date. However actor David Harbour - who plays Jim Hopper - suggested that "it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record.” In the interview with GQ, he said that filming will likely begin in 2023, and that “they’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year”.

From previous experience, the time frame given by Harbour sounds correct. There were similar gaps between the release of season 1 - 3, of approximately 18 months. However, Season 4 was delayed due to pandemic restrictions.

With the filming process now able to proceed unhindered by any restrictions, an early or mid 2024 release date is feasible. 

The Duffer Brothers confirmed this in a chat with Variety. They said “don’t hold us to it, but the gap should be quite a bit shorter this time, due to the fact that we already have an initial outline, and we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus."

What do we know so far about Stranger Things season 5 

There will likely be a time jump in season 5. The Duffer Brothers have spoken about introducing a time jump in season 5, due to the ages of the cast. 

When Stranger Things first aired, the younger cast members were around 12 - 14 years old. With the timeline in Hawkins only moving on 2 years over 4 seasons, and the cast now into adulthood, they are a little old to realistically play young teenagers. 

In an interview with E! News, Vecna actor Jamie Campbell Bower also hinted at what would be in store for season 5. He began by saying “I think Matt and Ross [Duffer] have something beautiful cooking, and they’ll let us know in good time”. He also hinted a storyline involving Vecna and Will Byers (played by Noah Shnapp) could take centre-stage in season 5. 

At the end of season 4, Will awkwardly touched his neck, appearing to feel something there with an awareness of Vecna’s presence. Will has a previous connection with the Mind Flayer after being trapped in the Upside Down in season 1. 

Talking about a Will and Vecna season 5 showdown, Campbell Bower said “put it this way, I think we all know by now that potentially Vecna and Will have history. So, it would be a joy to get back in there [and work with Shnapp]”.

What cast members will return for Stranger Things season 5? 

  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
  • David Harbour as Detective Jim Hopper
  • Millie Bobby Brown as 'Eleven'/Jane Hopper 
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers 
  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler 
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair 
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler  
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers 
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harington
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield 
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley 
  • Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair 
  • Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard/One//Henry
  • Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
  • Joe Chrest as Ted Wheeler 
  • Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler 
  • Eduardo Franco as Argyle 
  • Amybeth McNulty as Vickie

Who died in Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2

Eddie Munson died in the season 4 finale, whilst the fate of Max Mayfield remains very much up in the air. Max could be dead or alive. She isn’t brain dead, but when Eleven visits her mind, it is totally black, leading to speculation that her soul is dead. 

Another key question for season 5 if she’s alive, will be is Max blind? It appears likely Sadie Sink will reprise her role as Max Mayfield in some form. Vecna had broken multiple bones, and left her eyes scarred and bleeding. Fans have been wondering how she will return, and what blindness could mean for the character. 

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in a still from Stranger Things

(Image credit: Netflix)

Eddie met an untimely ending in the Upside Down, after using Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ to bait the Demobats. After being pecked almost to death by them, a devastated Dustin sat with him until he finally passed away. 

Speaking to the Radio Times, Eddie actor Joseph Quinn spoke about the character returning. He had a conversation with Joe Keery who plays Steve, and said “I was thinking… me and Joe Keery were discussing ways in which I could [come back]. Maybe I'd be a figment of Gaten's imagination or something like that if there could be some room for something a bit supernatural". 

Of the two characters meeting their demise, one fan posted to Twitter saying “Max saying she’s not ready to die, Lucas screaming for Erica to help, Eddie dying and Dustin being there… Don’t think I’ve ever been so heartbroken”.

One character not on the receiving end of any sympathy following his death, was Jason Carver. He’d spent the majority of the series hunting down Eddie, believing him to be responsible for the deaths caused by Vecna, and leading a satanic cult. 

The moment Jason caught up with Lucas in the Creel house and stamped on Max’s headphones - all remaining sympathy for the character dissipated. 

Max needed the headphones to use Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ to get Vecna out of her head. Fans believe she could’ve been saved if Jason wasn’t beating Lucas and if Lucas was able to play the song. The general consensus across social media was that the character was disliked, and his death deserved. 

Stranger Things season 4: Ending explained 

Vecna is down, but he’s not defeated. Season 4 Volume 2 episode ‘The Piggyback’, brought the series to its conclusion. Although it was hoped Vecna would meet his end, this wasn’t the case. Eleven is nearly defeated by Vecna, and it’s the power of Mike shouting at her in the sensory deprivation tank that he loves her, that gives her the final push to blast him before he can kill Max.

Elsewhere in the Upside Down, Steve, Nancy, and Robin play their part in releasing Max from Vecna by setting him on fire. 

Killing Max (if only temporarily - her heart stopped for 1 minute), has given Vecna the power he needs to remove the barrier between the Upside Down and Hawkins. The force of the gate opening is put down to an earthquake, initially killing 22 Hawkins residents and causing many to flee. 

In the aftermath of the damage, it doesn’t seem that Hawkins citizens will believe natural events are responsible. A child is delighted at seeing snowfall - though what she can actually see are particles from the Upside Down drifting to earth. 

Eleven looks dismayed as a flowering plant dies and turns to dust before her eyes. These events can’t be hidden for long before the supernatural connection is unveiled.

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.