Stranger Things season 3 release date, cast, trailer, script, and everything else we know so far

With the demogorgon defeated, the mind flayer sealed into the Upside Down, and that bully from season 1 nursing a broken arm, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Hawkins is finally safe. Spoiler: it’s not. Unless the Duffer Brothers have seriously changed tact and decided to set Stranger Things season 3 during a perfectly normal summer in Hawkins, Indiana, you can bet your last Eggo that the Upside Down is going to return and continue to wreak havoc across the fast-growing town. We’ve got all the details you need to know about the latest series, including the Stranger Things season 3 release date, cast, and trailer. 

Fast facts:

Stranger Things season 3 release date: Summer 2019
Showrunners: Ross Duffer, Matt Duffer, Shawn Levy
Cast: David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Maya Thurman Hawke

Stranger Things season 3 production has officially begun

Finally, at long last, season 3 has begun production. What that means is that on April 20 the cast sat down to read through the script for the beginning of Stranger Things season 3. Oh, how we wish we could have been a fly on the wall during that session...although that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, you can always give the video above a watch to see the cast members arrive at the session in stylish black and white. It’s nigh impossible to scavenge any hints about what’s in store from the video alone, as the only thing we get a glimpse of - besides the faces of the cast, of course - is the cover page for season 3. Curses!

Stranger Things season 3 release date is summer 2019

I know, I know. I’m sad too. Cindy Holland, Netflix’s Programming Executive, told the Television Critics' Association that Stranger Things will be returning to our screens in the summer of 2019, which is slightly more information than we had before (it was originally going to be released in 2019 but with no confirmed quarter). When quizzed about it further, Holland said that “the Duffer Brothers and Shawn Levy, they understand the stakes are high. They want to deliver something bigger and better than last year. I think it’s going to be a fantastic season. It will be worth the wait”. Guess we’ll have to wait until the sun is shining hot and bright in summer 2019 to find out whether she’s right. 

Rather fittingly considering its summer release date, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Noah Schnapp revealed that our next outing to Hawkins won’t be in the dead of winter like in Stranger Things season 2, but is instead taking place in summer. The heat is due to affect the storyline as well, as Schnapp says the warmth means “you kind of get to see a different version of everyone”. Whether that means we’ll see Hopper in a Hawaiian-print shirt or Eleven sporting some awesome Ray-Bans I’m not sure, but considering the Upside Down seems to perfectly complement the dark, cold winters, dipping into it in the middle of bright summer days could be a tricky contrast to pull off. 

BAHAHAAHAHAHAA 😂 Indiana 1983

A photo posted by @milliebobbybrownpost.s on Sep 27, 2018 at 6:02pm PDT

Interestingly, shots of Eleven during a particularly emotional scene on a beach have been posted to Instagram by none other than Millie Bobby Brown. The super-powered teen is seen standing among some chilly-looking waves, screaming into the air and possibly looking around for someone. Is Eleven lost? Abandoned? Or is she just having a bad day and needs to let it all out? You’ll have to wait until Stranger Things season 3 comes out to find out, but let’s hope that whatever is making Eleven angsty gets resolved swiftly or she might end up lashing out with those formidable powers of hers sharpish. 

Stranger Things season 3 cast has already expanded

Hawkins is a sizeable town, so it shouldn’t really be surprising that the Stranger Things season 3 cast is going to be growing. While the core cast are coming back, you can also expect to see Maya Thurman-Hawke (as in the daughter of Uma Thurman) as a new alt-girl character according to Variety, who’s bored with her day job and presumably seeks some thrills - which she’ll definitely get seeing as she’s due to uncover a “secret” hidden somewhere in Hawkins. 

Sassmaster Priah Ferguson will also have a more substantial role in season 3 after appearing as Lucas’ younger sister Erica in the previous season. Erica obviously has quite the inquisitive mind and isn’t scared of searching through Lucas’ room (He-Man and Barbie are in love, after all…) so perhaps she’ll stumble upon something that refers to Eleven’s powers or the Upside Down. 

We’ve seen the kids run, walk, and cycle through Hawkins, but haven’t yet witnessed them splashing around in a pool. Somehow swimming is going to play a part in Stranger Things season 3, as Francesca Reale has been cast as Hawkins lifeguard Heather. Apparently she’s going to be intrinsic to season 3’s plot, but we’re not sure why - or how - at the moment. 

Last season the new additions to Stranger Things included Billy, Max, and Superman Bob Newby (I’m still not over his death), but this time around you can expect some more core grown-up characters to make their debut. The Hashtag Show revealed that they have an anonymous source who says there’s at least three more characters on the way: two of them are Mayor Larry Kline, a 40-60ish year old greasy 80’s politician who’s just out for himself, and Bruce, a sexist rotund news reporter who’s in his 50s and doesn’t exactly make his appearance his top priority (he sounds like a bit of a slob). Lastly there’s Patricia Brown, the neighbourhood grandma who’s in her 70s and loves a bit of gardening. She’ll be dispensing grandmotherly advice to the Hawkins kids. 

There’s no say on whether Dr Owens (Paul Reiser) is returning for season 3, but after he seemed to switch allegiances to Hopper and Eleven, having a mole in the Hawkins Laboratory can’t be a bad thing. Likewise with Eleven’s adoptee older sister Kali: Linnea Berthelsen isn’t sure whether the illusionist will be making a comeback. Our Stranger Things season 3 theories has a suspicion that she’d make a great villain, mind you...

Stranger Things season 3 trailer isn’t here...yet

No, you haven’t missed it - the Stranger Things season 3 trailer isn’t here yet but you can bet that when it does we’ll probably have something to say about it. When it does appear expect it to have a Steve and Dustin scene featured in it in some way, as Shawn Levy has already told Glamour that he wants “to see them connect more and be more familiar with each other. I want them to have a connection like they’ve really had a connection for a year—like they’re brothers. He’s never had that, so I feel like Steve is definitely someone in that sense who could be that person to him”. The relationship between the two is clearly important to season 3 so some indicator of that in the trailer wouldn’t go amiss. 

So although we might not have a proper trailer, the latest video is all about Hawkins' new mall. The perms. The stonewash dreams. The physical shops for buying CDs and books… this latest video from Stranger Things takes us back to the ‘80s, otherwise known as they heyday of the mall. Steve has got himself a job at the local ice cream parlour along with the new alt-girl played by Maya Thurman, and he doesn’t exactly look chuffed about it. There’s no sign of Eleven or her chums in the crowds, but with the first two series largely focused on the Hawkins local shops, having the third season centered around a mall is correlates with the idea that that ‘80s are slowly progressing into the ‘90s. Plus imagine being trapped in a mall with those Upside Down creatures baying outside...

Stranger Things season 3 script will have at least 8 episodes

Judging from what the Duffer Brothers have said so far about Stranger Things season 3 script, it’s going to be a doozy. For now it looks like it’s going to be “an eight- or nine- episode season”, according to Shawn Levy when he spoke to Glamour, also mentioning that “the number of episodes will be dictated by the amount of story that excites us. We now know what is going to happen in season three to every character”. Well, that doesn’t sound ominous at all. 

Unsurprisingly, the Mind Flayer isn’t done with Hawkins yet. Shawn Levy told Variety that it is “still lurking up there out there in the Upside Down”, and continues to be “determined to find a way to achieve his goals”. As it seems to have considerable influence over the Upside Down, prepare for some new monsters to make an appearance as Levy revealed that “the [demi] dogs didn’t get it done in season two, so he’s going to have some new strategies”. I dread to think what new horrors the Mind Flayer will dream up.

Something that’s certainly going to be happening to the majority of the characters is something everyone on this planet is due to go through at some point: puberty. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Matt Duffer said that “we have to deal with it because our real-life actors are going through it… I think that’s exciting because it forces the show to evolve and become something different every year. It’s going to test their friendships. Obviously, like Lucas and Max are together, but really, when you’re that age, how long do relationships last? They usually last about two weeks if you’re lucky. I think that’s going to be fun to explore”. Uh oh. Now I’m sad because it sounds like Max and Lucas’ relationship isn’t going to last a particularly long time. 

Other relationships are going to be going through some tough patches too, as David Harbour talked to Insider about the significance of Hopper giving his blue bracelet (his core memento of his dead daughter Sarah) to Eleven. “I don't want to to get too into that because that's something we may talk about sometime in season three… It's something we'll delve more into in terms of Jim's daughter and him confronting this Eleven relationship and what that means ... there's more to be revealed there”. Going from being a single, disinterested Sheriff into a father again is sure to dredge up a lot of conflicting emotions for Hawkins’ main advocate of coffee and contemplation. Along with the revelation that Hopper’s daughter died in Hawkins hospital - which could mean that during her treatment she came into contact with staff from Hawkins lab - it looks like Hopper is due to have some particularly interesting storylines in season 3. 

Stranger Things season 3 is placing an even bigger focus on action according to Shaun Levy, who, in an interview with The Playlist, said that “season 3 has a really healthy dose of poppy, bright levity and cultural fun. But I can only promise you that season 3 eventually goes places that are darker, and unquestionably more action-packed, than we’ve ever gone before”. Sounds like Mike and co. are going to have a lot to deal with this season - let’s hope they’re ready for it...

Plus speaking to Variety, David Harbour took a moment to reflect upon how the relationship between Hopper and Eleven would evolve through the third season. After Eleven was officially adopted by Hopper (with her legal name being Jane Hopper - yeah, I’m welling up a bit too), their father/daughter relationship is set to be a big part of season 3. But it won’t all be smooth sailing. According to Harbour, “a lot of changes go on in the body and in your social life, and I don’t think [Hopper is] going to handle watching [Eleven] become a woman in front of his eyes very well. That’s a horrifying thing for him — maybe even more so than fighting inter-dimensional monsters”. Bold words. After Hopper’s daughter Sarah died as a child, it would be no surprise if he has some complicated reactions to Eleven’s adolescence. Let’s hope that their inevitable arguments don’t cause either one to act out while the Mind Flayer from the Upside Down lies in wait...

Stranger Things season 3 filming is underway

When filming does start, bear in mind that the kids are going to be going through puberty so a much larger time jump than the first to second season is almost definitely on the cards. Ross Duffer told Yahoo that there “will have to be somewhat of a time gap, because the kids are, I mean, they already look so much older”. One of the casting calls is for an ‘80’s’ politician, so perhaps Hawkins is going to be appearing on our screens in sometime near the end of the decade in a nod to the early 90’s. Yes please

Plus if you’ve always had questions about just how you survive in the Upside Down, the new Stranger Things comic from Dark Horse could be just what you’ve been looking for. Described as  an opportunity to explore the mysterious world of Hawkins, Indiana”, the first series is going to show what Will Byers went through in the eerie alternate dimension. We haven’t really seen what he had to do to cling to life in the Upside Down as Stranger Things only showed glimpses of Will fleeing and hiding from the Demogorgon, so this comic should clear up a lot of questions any fans have. It could also shine a light on just what the Upside Down really is, which will no doubt be a continuing theme in Stranger Things season 3. One fan theory even proposes that the Upside Down is a living being...You’ll have to wait for the four-part miniseries to come out in September 26, 2018 to find out what it takes to survive in there.