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]


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

In the summer of 1985 in Hawkins, the new Starcourt Mall has become the focal point of the town, driving other stores out of business. Sheriff Jim Hopper is conflicted over Eleven and Mike's budding relationship, while Joyce considers moving out of Hawkins for better prospects, leaving the state of the children's friendships and her own relationship with Hopper in the air. However, strange power fluctuations trigger Will's awareness of something otherworldly, and Eleven and Max sense something is off about the town's residents, and despite having closed the portal to the Upside Down, fears that they are all in danger from it still.

Cast and characters

Main cast

Recurring cast


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


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.
Chapter Two - The Mall Rats
"The Mall Rats" The Duffer Brothers


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.
Chapter Three - The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
"The Case of the Missing Lifeguard" Shawn Levy


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.
Chapter Four - The Sauna Test
"The Sauna Test" Shawn Levy


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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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]


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]


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]


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 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



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 released on July 4, the same day of the premiere of the season.


  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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