Just a few days ago, the Stranger Things Season 2 trailer debuted, which not only offered the first footage of this highly-anticipated season, but revealed that the show will return on Halloween. Today we have the new cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly featuring the young cast of Stranger Things, along with a new photo of the stars in their Ghostbusters Halloween costumes and new plot details from the stars and producers. While some fans may be disappointed they have to wait even longer for the show, there is a perfectly good explanation for why the show will debut on Halloween. If you still haven't seen Stranger Things yet, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
The series debuted last July, and immediately became a cultural sensation, with fans praising the show's 1980s setting and the delightful young cast. A Stranger Things Season 2 renewal followed shortly after the series debuted, and today we have plenty of new details about the upcoming season, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. First off, not only will the show debut on Halloween, but the season itself kicks off on Halloween, with the main characters Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) all dressed up as Ghostbusters. While everything appears to be getting back to normal, the first season ended with Will coughing up a slug from the Upside Down, which teases more trouble for Will this season, according to co-creator Matt Duffer.
"He seems to be seeing images from the Upside Down. The question is whether they're real or not. So it seems like he's having some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder."
We reported a few months ago that one of the many new cast members this season will be Sean Astin, who plays Bob Newby, a former high school classmate of both Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) who manages the local Radio Shack. Just a few weeks ago, David Harbour revealed that Joyce is actually dating Bob, which Sheriff Hopper isn't terribly happy about, causing a bit of a love triangle between this adult trio. When asked about why she's dating Bob Newby, Winona Ryder had this to say about Joyce's new love life.
"She's trying to mask a lot. I think she's made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons' lives."
As for Hopper, he has his work cut out for him this season, trying to keep all of the events of last season, including the disappearance of fan-favorite character Barb (Shannon Purser), under wraps. David Harbour reveals that he's trying to keep these events a secret to protect Joyce and the rest of the young kids. Here's what David Harbour had to say below.
"It kind of falls on Hopper to be the voice of authority to say, 'This did happen and this didn't happen.' He's struggling with the compromise that takes him to, having to lie and cover things up."
Despite a surprise resurrection during the Golden Globes musical number, it has been confirmed several times that Shannon Purser's hit character Barb is still dead. Her death will have quite an impact on the series, though, with Ross Duffer revealing that Natalia Dyer's character Nancy and her brother Mike (Finn Wolfhard) are in the most pain, because they both lost friends, with Barb's death and the presumed death of Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven, although she has been confirmed to return. While we still don't know how Eleven will return to the show, Natalie Dyer had this to say about how the siblings are suffering more than anyone else.
"She and Mike are both the most screwed-up because they're the ones who both lost someone. They're both grappling with that, and we see the effects."
This season will also introduce another set of siblings, with the arrival of Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink). Max's arrival finds both Lucas and Dustin vying for her romantic attention, although her brother will essentially serve as a human villain on the series. Here's what Matt Duffer had to say about Billy, comparing him to the villains of Stephen King
"Stephen King always has really great human villains. The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that."
Matt Duffer also teased that this season will explore "different kinds of horror," with the connection to the Upside Down still open. The Hawkins, Indiana lab is now being run by Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser), who is described as "seemingly friendly." Gaten Matarazzo also teases that his character Dustin will get to interact with an interesting "polliwog-like pet." Here's what the young actor had to say about his pet.
"It's a little creature I get to bond with. It's obviously not from this planet or this dimension."
The show's popularity has spawned rumors of crossovers with another 1980s-set series, ABC's sitcom The Goldbergs, while M. Night Shyamalan has recently admitted that he wants to direct an episode of the second season. While it remains unclear whether the spin-off will happen, or if M. Night Shyamalan will get to direct an episode, David Harbour talked about this show's rapid rise through the ranks of pop culture. Here's what he had to say about the show's popularity.
"It's really permeated the culture. People love the characters so much, and they have such an emotional response."
While the adult stars such as Winona Ryder and David Harbour had already been established actors prior to the show, Stranger Things turned the young cast members into overnight stars. Millie Bobby Brown, who returns as the mysterious Eleven this season, shared an amazing encounter she had last year while travelling. Here's what she had to say below.
"I went to Manila last year; there were people camping outside the hotel, crying, and literally hyperventilating. I was like, 'Why do you like me so much? I'm just boring old Millie."
The sudden popularity has certainly raised the stakes for the second season, which will also have more competition, so to speak. While it airs on the Netflix streaming service instead of a traditional network, it debuted in the summer months, when most broadcast and cable shows were on hiatus. Now that they're debuting on Halloween, they'll be indirectly competing against the likes of The Walking Dead and other popular fall shows. Gaten Matarazzo revealed that he joked with the Duffer Brothers that they should have made the first season not as great.
"I always joke around with the Duffers, 'Why couldn't you make the first season just okay?' It's like how they never expected Barb to be a hit, they never expected the show to be as successful."
EW also spoke with producer Shawn Levy, who also directed two episodes last season and recently confirmed he's directing two more this season. The producer revealed the big challenge of this new season has nothing to do with the show itself, but everything around it. Here's what he had to say below.
"That is the new challenge of season 2: quieting the cultural noise that surrounds our show."
Ross Duffer also added that there will be plenty of familiarity in Season 2 for fans who got so caught up in the first season. But don't expect everything to be the same. Here's what he had to say below.
"It's a balance of the comfort you're familiar with but then trying to take it in new directions. That's what we're trying to strike with season 2."
In addition to the cover photo and the Ghostbusters photo, we also have an alternate cover, and five more images from the series. If that wasn't enough, we also have a video where all of the young Stranger Things stars break down how you can become best friends with the cast. Take a look at this video and the new photos below.