It's time to go back to the Upside Down. After production on Stranger Things Season 4 was shut down earlier this year due to Covid-19 (but not before Netflix released a trailer confirming Hopper is alive), the show has officially resumed filming.
Netflix broke the news on Twitter with a photo of a clapperboard in front of a mysterious clock not unlike the one featured in an earlier teaser. It doesn't seem to reveal much, but a closer look reveals several major clues about Stranger Things Season 4 that may even reveal a release date. Here are three huge details you might have missed.
3. Where does Stranger Things Season 4 even take place?
At 6 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, October 1, Netflix tweeted the following message:
It's worth noting that a simultaneous tweet from the official Stranger Things account features the exact same image with some very different text: "meanwhile in the upside down..."
The suggestion here seems to be that one picture is set in our own world and the other in the upside-down, but the fact that it's the same image could mean the distinction between the two no longer matters. Maybe whatever the Russians did in Stranger Things Season 3 has destroyed that dividing line entirely, and Season 4 will see the two dimensions collide.
2. When does Stranger Things Season 4 take place?
I've tried analyzing the clock in this photo, but it's nearly impossible (12:15? 7:10?), however, the numbers on that clapperboard could reveal more than you think. Typically, they would detail the scene, take, and camera roll being used. But this is a staged photo. Is it possible Netflix is trying to tell us something else?
As Stranger Things fans on Reddit point out, those numbers could also refer to a date. Read simply from left to right, the date becomes September 8, 1979. That's years before the events of Stranger Things, but perhaps that means we could be getting a flashback scene or even an entire episode devoted to the origins of the Upside Down.
Then again, as another fan notes, if you flip the board upside down it becomes "lb lb 86." This would make sense since Stranger Things Season 3 took place in 1985, but we have no idea what the lbs might mean.
1. Did another teaser already spoil the Stranger Things Season 4 release date?
After the official reveal, a verified Twitter account representing the Stranger Things writers room shared a new behind the scenes photo:
This might not feel like a huge reveal, but it matters more when you remember that Stranger Things typically releases each new season at around the time of year when that season takes place. Season 3 was all about the Fourth of July, and that's when it came out. Season 2 took place around Halloween, and so Netflix released it on Halloween.
What does this mean for Season 4? As redditor u/Little_Consequence pointed out, it could mean a lot.
Also, since basketball is a winter sport, this season will most likely take place in Winter. Probably February/March. So no April 1986, and no Chernobyl.
Basically, the fact that Stranger Things Season 4 takes place during basketball season means it will probably be set during the winter. That rules out the popular theory that the show could explore the events of Chernobyl. However, it does give a boost to speculation that the plot will focus on Mike and Eleven reuniting at Christmas, which they discussed in the Season 3 finale.
So based on this photo, we can assume that Stranger Things Season 4 will premiere in late 2021. Maybe right around the holidays.