How 'The Shining' Inspired a 'Stranger Things' Season 2 Character

Warner Bros., Saban Films, Lionsgate

Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan might bring another teenager into the fold in Stranger Things Season 2, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a threat.

Stranger Things Season 2 newcomer Dacre Montgomery, best known for his role as Jason (the Red Ranger) in 2017’s Power Rangers film, joined Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) to talk about the inspiration for his character, Billy, at San Diego Comic-Con.

Season 2 of the Duffer Brothers’ hit Netflix series is expected to be more horror-centric than the first, and if Billy’s inspiration is any indication, the show is well on its way to achieving that goal.

“I was given a lot of Jack Nicholson,” Montgomery said when asked by IMDb about what the Duffer Brothers had assigned him to watch before taking on the role. “Like The Shining. Because my character, I think, in many ways, has that kind of unpredictable nature that Jack Nicholson sort of has. So, the Duffers were very encouraging in kind of giving me space to explore but also encouragement to look to a lot of Jack Nicholson’s work.”

Further details about Season 2 are few and far between, including hints about Montgomery’s Billy and Sadie Sink’s Max, the season’s new additions.

While it’s a stretch to say Montgomery will totally recreate Nicholson’s iconic “Here’s Johnny” scene from The Shining (based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name) in Season 2, he’ll most likely embody some of Nicholson’s manic energy. And with things in Hawkins, Indiana, already tense after the events of Season 1, having an unpredictable character around won’t make things any easier.

Stranger Things Season 2 premieres on Netflix on October 27.

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