It’s been more than a year since “Stranger Things” became an out-of-nowhere cultural phenomenon. Now that millions of people have watched Netflix’s ’80s throwback and it’s received more awards and nominations than you can shake a Demogorgon at, anticipation for its sophomore season is at a high. Here’s what you need to know before the show returns later this fall:
It’ll be ready in time for Halloween, which is also when it’s set.
The entire season, which takes place on and around Halloween 1984, is available to stream on October 27.
James Cameron is a major influence.
“I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different,” Matt Duffer recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly. “There’s ‘Temple of Doom’, ‘Aliens,’ ‘Terminator 2.’ I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”
It’s going to be scarier than the first season.
“[It will be] a lot more horror-oriented,” Finn Wolfhard told People earlier this year. “I think people are going to like it more than the first season…there are going to be some challenges that the characters face that are real. That are disturbing.”
The titles to all nine episodes have all been released…
Episode 1: “Madmax”
Episode 2: “The Boy Who Came Back to Life”
Episode 3: “The Pumpkin Patch”
Episode 4: “The Palace”
Episode 5: “The Storm”
Episode 6: “The Pollywog”
Episode 7: “The Secret Cabin”
Episode 8: “The Brain”
Episode 9: “The Lost Brother”
…but some of them might change.
Matt Duffer has said that there were certain things “we didn’t want to put on there because we felt like it would give too much away” due to the fact that “people are smart on the fucking internet” and have a tendency to figure out plot details in advance based on subtle clues in episode titles.
The boys are back in town.
Everyone alive at the end of the show’s first season is returning, which is good news for fans of the kiddos and anyone ready for the Winonassaince.
There are new additions to the cast, too.
Sean Astin is playing Bob Newby, who’s described as “a kind-hearted former nerd who went to high school with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack.” Paul Reiser joins him as Dr. Owens, “a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment who is tasked with containing the events of last year.”
Both actors fit in with the show’s ’80s vibe: Astin is an alum of “The Goonies,” while Reiser was the most dangerous non-xenomorph in “Aliens.” Also joining the cast are Brian Gelman (as journalist Murray Bauman), Sadie Sink (a skateboarding tomboy named Max), and Dacre Montgomery (Billy, Max’s older brother).
Barb isn’t coming back…
Sorry not sorry, Barb fans.
…but Eleven is.
If you had to choose between the two, wouldn’t you prefer her anyway?
There’s more to explore in the Upside Down.
“We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins,” Ross Duffer told EW. “And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there?”
It won’t be the end.
“Stranger Things” has already been renewed for a third season, and a fourth is expected as well.