Stranger Things stage spin-off will tell Hopper’s, Joyce’s, and Vecna’s origin stories

Hopper in Stranger Things 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

The first details of the Stranger Things spin-off stage play have been confirmed, and it seems like it will feature some familiar characters. Titled Stranger Things: The First Shadow, the new show will be set in Hawkins, 25 years before the Netflix series’ first season.

The full synopsis reads: "Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy…  and the shadows of the past have a very long reach."

Of course, viewers of Stranger Things season 4 will know Creel actually turns into the show’s big bad Vecna. So it’s certainly interesting that we’ll see more of his origin story, which was glimpsed in flashbacks during the latest season. Fan favorites Hooper (played by David Harbour in the Netflix show) and Joyce (Winona Ryder in the Netflix series) will also get broadened backgrounds too ahead of the show’s final season.

The new play is based on an original story by the Netflix showrunners the Duffer brothers, as well as Jack Thorne and Kate Trefry. Stranger Things: The First Shadow will premiere at the Phoenix Theatre in London in late 2023 and is directed by Stephen Daldry.

"We are beyond excited about Stranger Things: The First Shadow," the Duffer brothers said in a statement. "Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt. You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won't - it’s more fun to discover it for yourself."

Check out our Stranger Things season 5 round-up for more on the latest season. For what else to watch, we've collated the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies to stream now.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.