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Stranger Things 3 icon Spoiler Warning!

This article or section reveals details from the third season. Read at your own discretion...

Stranger Things 3, the third season of Stranger Things, was officially announced on December 1, 2017.[2] The season was released on July 4, 2019.[3] It is now streaming on Netflix. It consists of eight episodes ranging from forty-nine to seventy-seven minutes in length.

The season has a time jump like the previous season,[4] taking place in the summer of 1985,[5] and focuses on "forces of evil that are new."[6]

Synopsis

It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer's heating up. School's out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they'll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart.

Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.

Plot Summary

June 28, 1984...

In 1984, the Soviet Union unsuccessfully attempt to create a Gate to the Upside Down. Soviet general Stepanov gives one of the scientists a year to complete the objective.

One year later in Hawkins, Mike and Eleven are in an intimate relationship, something which Hopper is struggling to accept. The new Starcourt Mall has become the focal point of the town and the Party. Will begins to sense that something is wrong after a power outage but wants to believe that its nothing. Nancy and Jonathan have taken up jobs at The Hawkins Post. Nancy is attempting to make a good impression but is unfortunately weighed down by her sexist superiors. Dustin returns home from summer camp where he claims to have met his new girlfriend named Suzie. Billy has become a lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool where he is admired by a group of middle-aged women, with Karen Wheeler among them. Hopper begins to turn to Joyce for advice for confronting Mike and Eleven about their relationship. Steve has begun working at an ice cream parlour called Scoops Ahoy at the mall, where he is attempting to charm up women. His co-worker Robin Buckley pokes fun at his feeble attempts. As Joyce is preparing a speech for Hopper, he asks her for dinner. Joyce claims that she has plans, leaving Hopper disappointed. Dustin leads the Party to Hawkins’ tallest point, where they plan to build his new powerful radio which they plan on using to contact Suzie. Mike and Eleven claim to have a curfew which prohibited them from joining the rest of them. Rats are shown to be gathering at an abandoned steel works, where they all begin to explode into pieces. Billy asks Karen out on a date at a motel, which Karen agrees to. Suzie doesn’t respond to Dustin when he tries to contact her, leading Lucas and Max to believe that Suzie doesn’t exist. They decide to wait for her to respond anyway. Joyce begins to have flashbacks of Bob upon returning from work and watching TV on her own. The magnets on her fridge mysteriously fall off simultaneously without her knowledge. While cleaning up, Nancy receives a call from an elderly woman named Doris Driscoll concerning a story about infected rats. Hopper confronts Mike and Eleven while they share an intimate moment, but rather then follow Joyce’s advice, he decides to do things his way by getting Mike alone and threatening him while taking him home. After what seemed to be a few hours of Dustin attempting to contact Suzie, Lucas and Max decide to leave him. Will follows them not long after, leaving Dustin feeling alone and dismissed. He doesn’t feel this way for long as he receives a Russian transmission. Karen is about to leave for her date before she has a change of heart. Billy is already on his way before a creature seemingly attacks his car as he is driving past Brimborn Steelworks, leading him to crash. He is then dragged into the steelworks down a flight of stairs by vines.

Billy is released from the Steel Works and immediately finds the nearest telephone booth and dials 911 before experiencing a vision in the Upside Down in which a group of clones of himself cryptically order him to build an army. Early the next day, Eleven calls Mike to find out why he hasn’t shown up yet. Mike lies to her by claiming that his Nanna is extremely sick and that he can’t see her for the entire day. El can tell that he’s lying which makes her confused. Hopper, seeing that his plan worked, proceeds to visit Joyce at work once again to gleefully tell her this and to take another crack at asking her out, which succeeds this time. Nancy gets out of work and brings Jonathan along on her secret diseased rats case. Dustin reunites with Steve and is introduced to Robin. Dustin asks Steve for help in translating the Russian transmission. Eleven pays Max a visit to talk about Mike. Upon hearing her story, Max tells her to ignore his calls and threaten to dump him if he doesn’t explain himself. Meanwhile, Mike turns to Lucas for help. As Lucas is reassuring Mike, Max takes Eleven out to ‘have some fun’. At the pool, Karen attempts to apologise to a visibly disorientated Billy. He verbally dismisses her after imagining attacking her physically as he walks away from her. Every single one of his senses seem to be attacked by his surroundings. Back at Scoops Ahoy, Steve and Dustin are struggling to translate the transmission. Robin walks in on them and desperately offers to help out of boredom. Nancy and Jonathan arrive at Mrs. Driscoll’s house to inspect and ask questions about the ‘diseased‘ rats that have been devouring her fertiliser. She suspects that they have rabies. Protests are shown to be taking place at city hall while Hopper takes a meeting with Mayor Larry Kline, who orders him to get rid of them. Max and El go shopping at the mall. At the same time, Mike, Lucas and Will are also shopping for a present for El. Joyce becomes increasingly suspicious of the constantly failing magnets and decides to go ask Scott Clarke about it. Nancy finds another lead for the case as Jonathan takes photos of the rat Mrs. Driscoll caught and begins to believe that there is something seriously wrong with it. Billy’s state reaches it’s worst as he tries to avoid the sun by taking a cold shower. Heather Holloway, one of his coworkers, asks if everything is okay, which reads to Billy as “take me to him”, leading him to attack and kidnap her. El and Max are on a shopping spree while the boys struggle to find a suitable gift. They eventually bump into each other. Eleven confronts him for lying and dumps him. Hopper arrives at his dinner with Joyce, only to discover that she has yet to show. Scott gives a theoretical reason for why Joyce’s magnets have stopped working, which involves an extremely expensive and high-powered machine that could be running nearby. Robin finishes the translation: “The week is long, the silver car feeds, when blue meets yellow in the west.” They also discover that the transmission was made there in the Mall. Hopper drunkenly leaves the restaurant after Joyce doesn’t show. Billy brings a gagged Heather to the steel works, where she is confronted by a fleshy creature.

At Hopper‘s cabin, Eleven uses her powers to eavesdrop on the boys. Hopper drunkenly enters her room thinking that Mike is present, only to find that it’s Max. Relieved, he allows her to stay the night. El proceeds to spy on Billy next, coincidentally at the same time he was delivering Heather to the creature. What El witnesses disturbs her on an extreme level. The next day, Will is in a festive mood as he declares a ‘day without girls’ at the Wheeler house, a day that entails a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Joyce pays a disgruntled Hopper a visit in order to fill him in with her suspicions about the magnets and how they could be connected to the lab, though he dismisses her instantly. Despite this, Joyce forces him to investigate the lab with her. El and Max investigate Billy’s room, where they find a bloody lifeguard’s whistle. Robin is continuing the translation while Steve and Dustin comb the mall for Russian spies. Back at the Wheeler house, Mike and Lucas are showing little to no interest in Will’s campaign, which leads to him giving up and storming out of the house. Mike tries to make amends, but Will dismisses him and bikes out in the rain. El and Max go to the pool to return the whistle and kit they found. They discover that the owner, Heather, is not present. El finds a photo of her and uses it to find her in the void, where she is found in a tub of ice, begging for help. Hopper and Joyce arrive at Hawkins National Laboratory, which triggers a flashback of Bob’s death in Joyce’s mind. Dustin spots what he believes to be an “Evil Russian”, who turns out to simply be a Jazzercise instructor. Robin finally figures out the message. Nancy’s story is ridiculed by her boss Tom Holloway and their colleagues, including Bruce Lowe. Even more determined, she convinces Jonathan to come with her back to Mrs. Driscoll’s house to find more evidence to present to Tom. Joyce and Hopper find nothing, leading Joyce to believe that she is going crazy. Hopper reassures her by feeling the exact same way. He also reveals that he is aware of Joyce‘s plan to leave Hawkins and attempts to softly reason her against it. However, they are interrupted by a noise made not far from their position in the lab. Mike and Lucas follow Will back to his house to apologise, but he isn‘t there. He is sitting in Castle Byers where he emotionally reminisces of old times, which leads to him destroying the fort in tears and anguish. Nancy and Jonathan arrive at Mrs Driscoll’s house, only to find her eating fertiliser while making monstrous noises. Steve, Robin and Dustin witness a transgression between what they assume are Russians, which involved the moving of boxes into a secret room guarded by armed men. They accidentally create a loud sound, which alerts the Russians to an individual’s presence. The three of them make it out of there before being found. At the lab, Hopper is searching for the source of the noise, which introduces itself by surprise-attacking him and beating him to the ground before making his get away on a motorbike. Joyce witnesses him fleeing, finding Hopper unconscious. El and Max arrive at Heather’s house, only to find her and her family (her parents Tom and Janet) having dinner with none other than Billy. Heather appears to be well, though she and Billy were acting a little strangely, and the girls make their way out. Right as they’re leaving, Billy recognises El as being the girl that shut the Gate the year previously through the Mind Flayer’s memories. Right at that moment, Will begins to sense the Mind Flayer’s presence again, which leads him to finally informing Mike and Lucas (when they found him) that he has returned. At Heather‘s house, Janet passes out. While Tom is distracted, Heather hits him across the head with a wine bottle and drugs him.

While Max seems convinced that everything is fine, El still feels uneasy. At the same time, Mrs. Driscoll is taken to hospital while screaming “I have to go back!” repeatedly. Tom And Janet wake up in Brimborn Steelworks where they become under the control of the Mind Flayer. Hopper wakes up the next morning in his cabin, where Joyce brought him. They try to identify who the attacker was, and Joyce notes that he didn’t have a car. Mike, Lucas and Will try to gather the whole party together, though they were unsuccessful in contacting Dustin, whom is currently deciding with Steve and Robin how they are going to get in to the secret room in the mall. While trying to come up with suggestions, Robin leaves with an idea, telling the other two to stay put. Tom Holloway fires Nancy and Jonathan for the mess they have created. El and Max reunite with the boys as Will is explaining his suspicions and theories about the Mind Flayer. Based on last year’s events, he believes that it has most likely chosen a new host. Arriving at city hall, Hopper questions Mayor Kline about his attacker, as he now recalls seeing someone resemble his figure the last time he was outside the Mayor’s office. Kline claims to not remember him. This leads to verbal threats on both sides, before it turns to violence on Hopper’s side. Kline eventually reveals that the man works for Starcourt Mall and has bribing him for properties throughout East Hawkins. Hopper demands to see records of this. Jonathan shows anger towards Nancy for getting them fired on the way home. The argument is concluded with the fact that they “no longer understand each other”. Robin presents her idea to use air ducts, something they soon discover none of them can fit into. The Party draw their attention to Billy and his odd behaviour, which Max is still in denial about. Regardless, they form a plan involving a sauna that will prove whether or not he is a host. At Scoops Ahoy, Erica Sinclair is elected to enter the air ducts which, after a fair bit of persuasion and bribing, she agrees to. Hopper and Joyce arrive at Mayor Kline’s mansion with the Mayor himself leading the way. He leads them to a safe in his bedroom, which provides a variety of addresses to bought properties. Joyce is predicting that the machine Scott Clarke was talking about could be located at one of these properties. Nancy has a heartfelt conversation with her mother about her situation. Karen tells her that she should finish her story and prove that she‘s right. While the Party prepares for their plan, Mike attempts to apologise to El, but to no avail. The same happens between Lucas and Will. Kline’s wife comes home to find her husband handcuffed to his bed, screaming for a phone. At the mall, Robin’s plan works perfectly, as Erica was able to climb her way through to the room, allowing the other three inside. Back to the pool, Mike lures Billy to the sauna, where Eleven locks him in. Will turns up the heat, and they wait. Nancy arrives at the hospital to see Mrs. Driscoll in order to look through her records. At the mall, Steve begins to open up the boxes, which they find are filled with crates of green radioactive material. The walls begin to shake, and before they can leave, they discover that they are in an elevator, which begins to go down at a rapid speed. Mrs. Driscoll’s heart rate is beginning to increase as Nancy continues to write notes. At the pool, Billy breaks down in sobs, claiming to Max that “he” made him do it, claiming that he tried to stop “him”. Will senses the Mind Flayer’s presence and tells Mike this, who tells Max to get away from the door. She does this just in time for Billy to smash through the window and attempt to assault her. Lucas shoots him in the head with his slingshot, which sends Billy backwards before he starts convulsing as the lights flicker. The lights in Mrs. Driscoll’s hospital room also begin to flicker as she (to Nancy’s horror) becomes covered in black veins. She begins to scream at the same time Billy does as he breaks down the door. Eleven uses her powers to restrain him, which works for a short period of time before he breaks through and grabs her by the neck. She is saved by Mike, who attacks him with nearby weight equipment. Billy goes for Mike instead before being levitated in the air by Eleven and thrown through a brick wall. Mike comforts a now weakened El as Billy retreats in agony. Heather tends to Billy at the steel works. It’s revealed that they have infected at least 20 of Hawkins’ residence.

Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica have found no way to escape the elevator shaft. Hopper and Joyce come across a farm as one of the listed locations, where they find two Russians in an underground room. They attempt to question them before Russian agent Grigori arrives. Him and Hopper have a showdown, which ends with him and Joyce escaping with one of the Russians in captivity. Nancy calls Jonathan from the hospital early next morning, demanding to know where Will is. She claims that he may be in danger. Outside the cabin, Hopper is trying to get his broken down truck working again as Joyce tries to question the Russian, who is a scientist by the name of Alexei. Hopper’s efforts end in the engine exploding, leaving the three of them no choice but to walk aimlessly through the woods. Their objective is to go to Illinois, where an “acquaintance” of Hopper lives who can speak Russian. Eleven hears some of this while spying on him in the Void, and relays it to the rest of the Party, who have regrouped at the Wheeler house. They are completely unsure of what their next move should be. They are soon joined by Nancy and Jonathan, who are looking for Will. Beneath the Starcourt Mall, Dustin tries to contact the ground level through his walkie-talkie, but to no avail. Finally, the elevator doors are opened by a pair of Russian soldiers, who are there to collect the crates. The kids make their way out as the doors are closing. They then begin to set out through a long tunnel passageway. Back at the Wheeler house, Nancy begins to connect her story with what the Party has discovered. This leads to them believing that Mrs. Driscoll, Tom and Heather Holloway are all Flayed along with Billy. They proceed to investigate the Holloway house. Grigori finds Hopper’s truck, where he finds footprints. Hopper, Joyce and Alexei find a gas station, where they hijack someone’s car. While walking through the tunnel, Robin begins to question why the Russians have so much interest in Hawkins of all places. Steve and Dustin have their own suspicions that they choose to not share with the other two. The Holloway house is found to be extremely cold and vacant. They also find many chemicals. They concur that the ‘flaying’ is happening at a specific location. Will brings up the idea of having Mrs. Driscoll lead them there from the hospital. Grigori interrogates the gas station clerk as Hopper, Joyce and Alexei arrive at the residence of Murray Bauman. Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica stumble upon a room full of soldiers. They manage to make it to the comms room, where Steve manages to takes out one soldier. They grab his key card, but before they leave they decide to inspect an odd-looking room nearby. They discover that the Russians are trying to create a Gate to the Upside Down. The Party arrives at the hospital, but only Nancy and Jonathan are allowed to visit her. While they wait, Lucas encourages Mike to try to repair his relationship with Eleven. Nancy and Jonathan make amends for their fight on their way up. They find that Mrs. Driscoll is not there. They instead find Tom Holloway and Bruce Lowe, who has also been Flayed. They proceed to attack them. Mike compliments El’s dress as he offers her M&Ms. Meanwhile, Nancy And Jonathan are racing through the hospital. They eventually get separated, with Bruce going after Nancy and Tom chasing Jonathan. After a series of beat downs and chases, both Tom and Bruce are defeated. Their two corpses proceed to melt into fleshy goo. The two piles move by themselves before they reach each other and collude, becoming one big fleshy monster.

Steve, Dustin, Robin and Erica are found by the Russians. Steve and Robin give the other two time to hide before they‘re captured. Back at the hospital, Will senses the Mind Flayer‘s presence as the lights begin to flicker, alerting the others. Upstairs, the fleshy monster chases after Nancy, who locks herself in a separate room. The monster is able to bypass the room very quickly and is about to finish her off before Eleven bursts open the door with the others and uses her powers to throw the monster out of the building. It proceeds to retreat through a drain. The next day, Mayor Kline’s Fun Fair begins to take shape. Kline meets with Grigori, who gives him one day to find Hopper. At Murray’s Warehouse, Alexei is refusing to talk without his specific demands, which drives Hopper up a wall. Over time, Alexei realizes that his best bet is to side with the Americans rather than his comrades. Dustin fills Erica in on the events of the last two years as they journey through air ducts, which leads to an argument over whether or not Erica is a nerd. A Russian officer, Ozerov, is convinced that Steve and Robin are working for a higher power. Steve tries to tell him otherwise, but he doesn’t believe him and proceeds to have tortured until he talks. Nancy, Jonathan and the Party have regrouped at Hopper’s cabin, where El is searching for members of the Flayed through the Void. Mike and Max argue over El’s rights before she tells them that she found Billy. At Murray’s Warehouse, Alexei, through Murray’s translation, begins to communicate to Hopper and Joyce what him and his comrades have been doing. Joyce tries to call her kids while Hopper reassures Alexei that he will get him to his Key, though Alexei claims that access to the Key is impossible. Dustin and Erica commandeer a cart and a taser as Robin screams for help. She and Steve attempt to free themselves of their binds, which fails. They share a tender moment before Ozerov comes back with Dr. Zharkov, who infects a needle into Steve’s neck. Billy is simply sitting in his room. The Party believes he is setting a trap, so Eleven comes up with a new idea. When she tries to reach him, she succeeds in accessing his memories, where she witnesses his child self sharing a moment with his mother. Hopper sends a distress call to Dr. Owens before him, Joyce, Alexei and Murray head back to Hawkins. Ozerov interrogates a now lucid Steve, who tells him about Dustin and claims that he’s ‘long gone’ right before an alarm goes off, distracting Ozerov while Dustin and Erica enter and take down Dr. Zharkov with the taser. Eleven continues to see more of the abuse Billy suffered at the hands of his father. She sees more and more before she finally reaches Brimborn Steel Works. She seemingly exits the Void, only to find that she is alone. Billy enters the cabin, claiming that he knows where she is, and that everything him and the rest of the Flayed have been doing has been for her. He claims that he is going to end her, her friends, and then everyone. Eleven leaves the Void in shock and despair. The Flayed gather at the steel works, where they all melt into goo to become one massive spider-like monster.

Cast and characters

Main cast

Recurring cast

Episodes

# Image Title Director Writers
18
ST3 Chapter One - Suzie, Do You Copy?
"Suzie, Do You Copy?" The Duffer Brothers

[10]

The Duffer Brothers
Summer brings new jobs and budding romance. But the mood shifts when Dustin's radio picks up a Russian broadcast, and Will senses something is wrong.
19
Chapter Two - The Mall Rats
"The Mall Rats" The Duffer Brothers

[10]

The Duffer Brothers
Nancy and Jonathan follow a lead, Steve and Robin sign on to a secret mission, and Max and Eleven go shopping. A rattled Billy has troubling visions.
20
Chapter Three - The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
"The Case of the Missing Lifeguard" Shawn Levy

[10]

William Bridges
With El and Max looking for Billy, Will declares a day without girls. Steve and Dustin go on a stakeout, and Joyce and Hopper return to Hawkins Lab.
21
Chapter Four - The Sauna Test
"The Sauna Test" Shawn Levy

[10]

Kate Trefry
A code red brings the gang back together to face a frighteningly familiar evil. Karen urges Nancy to keep digging, and Robin finds a useful map.
22
S03E05 banner
"The Flayed" Uta Briesewitz Paul Dichter
Strange surprises lurk inside an old farmhouse and deep beneath the Starcourt Mall. Meanwhile, the Mind Flayer is gathering strength.
23
Season 3 Chapter Six E Pluribus Unum
"E Pluribus Unum" Uta Briesewitz Curtis Gwinn
Dr. Alexei reveals what the Russians have been building, and Eleven sees where Billy has been. Dustin and Erica stage a daring rescue.
24
Chapter Seven - The Bite
"The Bite" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
With time running out -- and an assassin close behind -- Hopper's crew races back to Hawkins, where El and the kids are preparing for war.
25
Chapter Eight - The Battle of Starcourt
"The Battle of Starcourt" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
Terror reigns in the food court when the Mind Flayer comes to collect. But down below, in the dark, the future of the world is at stake.

Development

The Duffers stated they wanted to start the third season with a clean slate, intentionally ending the previous season with few cliffhangers, so that they can focus on creating a better story with more freedom.[11] They also hinted that several ideas that didn't make it in the second season may be used.[4] By mid-November, the season was in the early stages of development.[12] In January, producer Shawn Levy revealed that all of the characters' story lines have already been planned out, and that the season will have eight or nine episodes, depending on the "amount of story that excites them." He also confirmed that Will Byers will not be the main victim this season, and that the friendship between Dustin Henderson and Steve Harrington will continue.[6] In February, it was announced the season will have eight episodes.[1]

In March, Levy also revealed that Season 3 would take place during the summer of 1985, a year after the former season and added that the relationship between Mike and Eleven as well as Max and Lucas will continue. Moreover, he promised that Steve Harrington will have a much larger role.[5]

In an interview, Noah Schnapp told that the third season will be very unique as it will be combining both the darker and lighter elements of the previous two seasons. Additionally, he confirmed that Erica will have her own story-line with "someone from the cast".[13] At Stranger Con, he also hinted the possibility of seeing more D&D scenes this season.[14]

In July, Levy gave more information on the season's tone, saying it is going to "darker" places while also mentioning it has "heart and humor." David Harbour mentioned that the season will be taking more risks[15] and hinted at the inspiration from several films released during 1985.[16] Harbour later revealed that one such film is the 1985 comedy film Fletch.[17] In addition, he described his character, Hopper, as being almost a combination of the previous versions of the character from the two prior seasons.[16]

In late July, Levy stated the season will be the "most ambitious" season yet, with inspirations being John Carpenter and other '80s horror directors.[18] Later, he also clarified his previous statement regarding the season's tone, saying that there will still be "plenty of summer fun."[19] According to Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown, the season will be the "Summer of Love".[20][21]

In September, Sadie Sink hinted that Starcourt Mall, the new location previously teased will play a big role in the season.[22]

As stated by Dacre Montgomery, Billy Hargrove's storyline will be a huge part of the season.[23]

In late January, Natalia Dyer mentioned that she didn't see any scenes from the third season yet, but teased that it will be "bigger, darker and scarier" than the first two seasons.[24]

In late May, the Duffer brothers revealed in an interview with "Entertainment Weekly" that the Mind Flayer was still alive in the Upside Down and would find another way into Hawkins. They also teased that the season will explore the theme of change among the kids who are experiencing their transition period.[25]

In mid-June, speaking to Empire, Noah Schnapp revealed that the Mind Flayer will still have a presence on Will in the season. Finn Wolfhard also reiterated that the season will combine the fun aspects of Season 1 and the horror aspects of Season 2.[26]

Influences

Borrowing inspirations from the movies of David Cronenberg, John Carpenter and George Romero, the Duffer Brothers sought out to create a darker premise for the third season. They also wanted to pay homage to many classic pop cultural films of the mid 80's. Speaking to "Entertainment Weekly", they revealed the names of some such films, which include Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Romancing the Stone, Midnight Run, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park.[27]

While discussing inspirations for season three with the cast and crew, Bodysnatchers came up the most with Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Bodysnatchers being one of them. According to actor Charlie Heaton, E.T. and The Goonies didn’t so much inspire this season as much as scarier films like Sam Raimi's Evil Dead.[28]

Casting

On March 2, Variety announced that Priah Ferguson, who portrays Erica Sinclair, had been upped to a recurring role. Her storyline for the season was described as "No longer content with sitting on the sidelines, Erica finds herself on a wild mission to save Hawkins from a dangerous new threat." They also revealed that Maya Hawke will be joining the cast as Robin, an "'alternative girl' bored with her mundane day job. She seeks excitement in her life and gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers a dark secret in Hawkins, Ind."[7]

In April, it was announced that Cary Elwes, best known for his performance as Westley from The Princess Bride, had been cast as Mayor Kline, who is described as “handsome, slick, and sleazy. He is your classic ’80s politician — more concerned with his own image than with the people of the small town he governs.” Additionally, Jake Busey was revealed to have been cast as Bruce, a journalist for The Hawkins Post “with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor.”[8]

In May, it was revealed that actress Francesca Reale had been cast as Heather, a lifeguard at the Hawkins community pool who will "become the centerpiece of a dark mystery."[9]

In late September, casting director Carmen Cuba revealed that she and the Duffers were still searching for new additions to the cast. Cuba stated they had a challenging storyline that requires them to continue searching for new talent.[29]

Production

Stranger Things 3 Now In Production Netflix

Stranger Things 3 Now In Production Netflix

Cast members at the table read for Stranger Things Season Three

According to actor David Harbour, production was scheduled to begin in April 2018.[30] TVLine additionally reported that production was slated to begin in mid-April.[1] Production officially began on April 20,[31] and a production teaser was released on April 27, showing the cast members at the table read.

Filming

Filming for the season officially began April 23.[10]

According to executive producer Iian Paterson, the season was filmed almost entirely on location.[32]

Aside from filming at EUE Screen Gems Studios in Atlanta, the crew shot scenes at a public swimming pool located in South Bend Park, Georgia for three days starting from May 5.[33] In preparation for filming, a portion of Gwinnett Place Mall, located in Duluth, Georgia, was refurbished to resemble an '80s-era mall, including several outlets popular during the time.[34] According to casting calls looking for mall patrons and employees, filming at the location took place May 14 - 18.[35][36] Filming also took place in many other locations including in Stone Mountain on June 18 and 20[37], and the Serenbe Farms of Chattahoochee Hills on August 1-2.[38]

According to cinematographer Tim Ives, filming for the first two episodes had completed on May 25.[39] The third and fourth episodes had finished filming in mid-July.[40] Filming for the fifth and sixth episodes had concluded in early-September.[41]

On September 27, actress Millie Bobby Brown was observed filming a scene from the upcoming season on a beach in Malibu, California.[42]

Filming officially wrapped on November 13.[43]

Technical Aspects

For filming the episodes, Tim Ives upgraded to the 8K Red Monstro (Brain) camera and decided to use the Leica Thalia lenses.[44]

Delayed release

Netflix's VP of original programming, Cindy Holland, gave the reason for the show's delayed release during the Television Critics Association press tour. She explained that the Duffers and Shawn Levy wanted to deliver something "bigger and better" than the previous season, later noting that the season's special effects will additionally take more time. Holland assured that the season will be fantastic and worth the wait.[45]

Behind the scenes

Main article: Behind The Scenes: Stranger Things 3

Following the premiere of Season 3, an official three-episode podcast was released featuring interviews with the Duffer brothers and several cast members which gives an in-depth look into the production of the third season.

VFX Breakdown

Marketing

Trailers

A teaser trailer was released on July 16, giving a brief look at Hawkins's new shopping mall, the Starcourt Mall featuring 80's shops like the Sam Goody and Waldenbooks.[46]

On December 9, an official teaser was released that listed the titles of all the episodes of the season. The trailer also confirmed that the season would be set in the summer of 1985. Later, on January 1, 2019, another teaser was released that announced that the season will be released on July 4, 2019.

The first full-length official trailer was released on March 20, 2019, featuring never before seen footage of both new and old characters, set to the song "Baba O’Riley". The trailer became the highest viewed video on Netflix's YouTube channel.[47]

The season's final trailer was released on June 20, 2019.

Stranger Rewind

As part of the online marketing campaign of Season 3, the show's official social media account hosted "Stranger Rewind" where fans were encouraged to rewatch the previous two seasons, similar to the promotion of Season 2. 17 artists were hired to illustrate new posters based on the episodes of the former two seasons. The official rewatch poster was created by Kim Jung Gi US.[48]

Stranger Things 3: The Game

Main article: Stranger Things 3: The Game

During the 2018 Game Awards, a video game tie-in to Season 3, titled Stranger Things 3: The Game, was announced. The game follows the season's events and is available on all platforms. It was released on July 4, the same day of the premiere of the season.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 "Stranger Things Season 3 Episode Count (Finally) Revealed" TV Line. February 9, 2018
  2. "‘Stranger Things’ Renewed For Season 3 By Netflix" Deadline. December 1, 2017
  3. "Promo video posted on the show's official Twitter"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "'Stranger Things': The Duffer Brothers on what's in store for Season 3" Yahoo. November 6, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "‘Stranger Things’: First Season 3 Details Revealed" The Hollywood Reporter. March 25, 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 "'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Further Along Than You Think" Glamour. January 22, 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Adds Maya Hawke, Ups Priah Ferguson" Variety. March 2, 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Stranger Things season 3 appoints Cary Elwes as mayor" The Hollywood Reporter. April 18, 2018
  9. 9.0 9.1 "‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Casts ‘Haters Back Off’ Alum Francesca Reale" Variey. May 9, 2018
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "Exclusive: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Starts Filming Monday; Andrew Stanton Not Returning" Collider.April 21, 2018
  11. "'Stranger Things' Season 2: The Duffer Brothers Dive Into the Final Scene" The Hollywood Reporter. October 27, 2017.
  12. "‘Stranger Things’: Duffer Brothers And Cast Reflect On Season 2, Keep Tight-Lipped On Season 3" Deadline. November 18, 2017
  13. "Noah Schnapp Teases 'Stranger Things' Season 3: "It’s Very Different" " The Hollywood Reporter. June 5, 2018
  14. "Stranger Con short on Stranger Things 3 spoilers" Netflix Life. June 26, 2018
  15. 'Stranger Things' Star David Harbour Teases Season 3"The Hollywood Reporter. August 15, 2018.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "‘Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy & David Harbour On Darker, Riskier Season 3 And Jim’s Evolution" Deadline. July 12, 2018
  17. "‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985’s ‘Fletch’ (EXCLUSIVE)" Variety. August 18, 2018
  18. "EXCL – Shawn Levy ci parla della terza stagione di Stranger Things!" BadTV. July 27, 2018
  19. "Twitter post by Shawn Levy
  20. "Finn Wolfhard Teases ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3: ‘It’s the Summer of Love’" Us. August 6, 2019
  21. "Millie Bobby Brown Teases Stranger Things Season 3: "It's the Summer of Love" "Eonline. August 22, 2018.
  22. Sadie Sink on Balancing Stranger Things Season 3"WMAGAZINE. September 5, 2019.
  23. "Dacre Montgomery Says Billy Hargrove Plays Huge Part In Stranger Things 3" GQ. November 14, 2018
  24. "‘Stranger Things’ Star Natalia Dyer: Season 3 Is Bigger, Darker and Scarier"Comicbook. January 27, 2019.
  25. "Stranger Things 3 will feature even more Dustin-Steve bromance"EW. May 23, 2019.
  26. Stranger Things 3 Has The Fun Of Season 1 And Horror Of Season 2, Says Finn Wolfhard – Exclusive
  27. Stranger Things 3: The movies that inspired the new season"EW.
  28. "‘Stranger Things’: Everything We Learned About Season 3 On Set at the Starcourt Mall"Collider. June 14, 2019.
  29. "'Stranger Things' Casting Director Still Searching for Talent for "Challenging" Season 3"The Hollywood Reporter. September 21, 2018
  30. "David Harbour Talks 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Plans - Dubai International Film Festival" Variety. December 8, 2017
  31. Instagram post by Jake Busey
  32. "STRANGER THINGS on LMGI" LMGI. August 14, 2018
  33. "What’s filming in Atlanta Now? Stranger Things" May 31, 2018.
  34. "Gwinnett Place Mall goes back to the future for ‘Stranger Things’" AJC. May 11, 2018
  35. "Casting TaylorMade NOW CASTING MULTIPLE DATES for STRANGER THINGS Atlanta, GA" TSCC. May 8, 2018
  36. 'Stranger Things,' Mall Employees for Matching Days" Backstage
  37. "[1]"Atlanta Magazine. June 26, 2018.
  38. "What’s filming in Atlanta now? Stranger Things"Atlanta Magazine. August 27, 2018.
  39. Instagram post by Tim Ives
  40. "How Stranger Things Became an Emmy Awards Darling" GQ . July 16, 2019
  41. September 13, 2018 Instagram post by Tim Ives
  42. Millie Bobby Brown looks distraught as she crawls out of the waves while filming a scene for Stranger Things"The Daily Mail. September 28, 2018
  43. Instagram post by Cary Elwes
  44. "Lensing "Stranger Things," "Mrs. Maisel," "Mozart in the Jungle""Shoot. August 10, 2018.
  45. "Stranger Things season 3 delayed, but it's 'better' than season 2" Entertainment Weekly. July 29, 2018
  46. "Stranger Things Season 3 Sneak Peek: What's Steve Up to in Hawkins' New Mall?"
  47. "Twitter Announcement".
  48. "Stranger Things Twitter Announcement"
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