In this modern age of binge watching, the biggest downside is that, the quicker you get through a show, the longer you have to wait until the new season arrives. As for Netflix's Stranger Things, which has become a cultural phenomenon in the five weeks since it launched, the streaming service's CEO Reed Hastings teased that they'd be "dumb" not to renew the show, although the renewal hasn't been made official quite yet. If you're in need of some new Stranger Things news to pass the time, then you'll be glad to know that we have new concept art that sheds some light on a few of the human and non-human characters. There will be potential SPOILERS below if you haven't watched the show quite yet, so read on at your own risk.
Screen Crush revealed new concept art images from the company Aaron Sims Creative, who previously worked on Pete's Dragon, Ghostbusters and Independence Day: Resurgence, just to name a few high-profile projects. The site also got to speak with Aaron Sims himself, who revealed that the fan favorite character Barb (Shannon Purser), who was devoured by the Demogorgon and was seen dead in the Upside Down, almost had a much worse fate. The concept art images reveal that scene was originally supposed to be much more gruesome, with bones from her ribcage sticking out of her stomach. Here's what Aaron Sims had to say about how this design changed.
"Based on our original discussion with the Duffers on this design, we wanted to go really graphic with it to highlight the horrific aspects of Barb being eaten, and something then growing on top of her - thus, the ribs poking out of her stomach in the first shot. In the final design, they ended up veering away from that because it became too unrecognizable. It was difficult to tell exactly what had happened to her; it wasn't an issue of it being too graphic, but rather, that the viewer needed to see something that was very recognizably dead. In the script for that episode, there was specifically a description of a spider coming out of her mouth, which we incorporated into the design of that second shot ... we don't really have an explanation for its existence; the design is based around the script's description."
Although Barb's role on the show was quite brief, she made quite the lasting impression, with a comedy rap group dubbed Dr. Chorizo payed tribute to Shannon Purser's Barb with a hilarious rap song. Sadly, the Duffer Brothers confirmed that we won't be seeing Barb in Stranger Things Season 2, which is said to be a continuation of the first season, which is set in 1983. Aaron Sims also shed some light on their designs for the Demogorgon, confirming that they took inspiration from H.R. Giger, Clive Barker and Guillermo del Toro when creating this creature.
"One of the designs we came up with the first week was a flower petal-like face with no teeth. That really resonated with the Duffers; it answered a lot of questions the Duffers had about the uniqueness of a monster with no face, and how that could be terrifying. A lot of the inspiration also came from the mouth of a snapping turtle - how terrifying that looks, and how its teeth go all the way back. So there were always teeth in our design. Some of the early concepts were more monstrous in shape, even more asymmetrical. Those were ones that veered off into their own direction, so we ended up scratching those and focusing on more symmetrical designs. What really inspired us with Giger were the very iconic elements of his alien designs. Our goal was to reach something like this level of icon - it's impossible to ever go beyond that, as Alien has one of the most iconic creatures to ever exist on film. The fantastical elements of del Toro are always inspiring, and Clive Barker's work has a hellish quality that we wanted to maintain. The directors are especially influenced by these three, especially the 80s feel of Giger's work."
While we don't know for sure quite yet, Season 1 stars Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Chief Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers) will most likely return. The Duffer Brothers also hinted that Matthew Modine's Dr. Martin Brenner may also return, so stay tuned for more details on this upcoming season. Until then, take a look at some of the concept art images below, and visit Screen Crush to check out the rest.