Stranger Things 4 teaser trailer reveals Eleven’s disturbing past

We still don’t know a release date for Stranger Things 4, but we do know where it might go when the series returns to Netflix.

What’s next for Eleven? The answer to the Stranger Things protagonist’s future steps will surely involve a closer look at her past, if the brand new Stranger Things Season 4 teaser just released by Netflix is any indication.

What Happened? — On Thursday, Netflix released a one-minute long teaser for Stranger Things Season 4, or just Stranger Things 4 as it is often stylized.

Beginning with a modern-style clock that reads 3 p.m., the teaser continues with a montage of children in hospital gowns in a depressing, fluorescent-lit and architecturally brutalist space where kids are seen playing with toy cars, chess, pachinko, blocks, Rubik’s cubes — basically, whatever you’d find in an evil children’s hospital conducting scientific experiments.

Soon enough, a shadowy figure in a suit walks into the space to greet the children, who all sound like drones devoid of joy. The voice intones: “Good morning, children.” (Isn’t it 3 p.m.?) The children respond, “Good morning, Papa.”

As “Papa” (who is almost certainly Matthew Modine’s Martin Brenner) teases that he has “something very special planned,” the camera explores the hallway and closes in on a door numbered “11.” As it approaches, the heavy breathing of Eleven intensifies, as does the dramatic trailer music. (Interestingly, the familiar intro music from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein is not heard.)

The teaser ends on a black screen with a disembodied voice saying, “Eleven, are you listening?”

You can watch the teaser in the embed below.

Listening for What? — Maddeningly, the cryptic teaser doesn’t include more for fans to speculate on.

There’s no semblance of a premise or any conflict, other than going to where Eleven (famously played by Millie Bobby Brown) got her Akira-esque superpowers, and the possible return of Dr. Brenner — something fans have anticipated ever since his death in season one, and his brief dreamlike cameo in season two.

More than anything, the teaser is a stylistic, glorified announcement for Season 4 of Stranger Things as an entity that exists, rather than an actual trailer telling audiences what to expect in the new season.

But fans will welcome this after what feels like an eternity. Netflix first announced the fourth season of Stranger Things back in September 2019, not long after the third season premiered earlier that summer.

Filming began in February 2020 in Lithuania (likely for all the scenes set in Russia) before moving to the United States in both Atlanta and New Mexico at Netflix’s Albuquerque Studios. As with all things in spring 2020, filming halted for a few weeks in observance of the Covid-19 pandemic until resuming in September 2020.

The Inverse Analysis — Following this video, more information about Season 4 should follow soon, including a release date.

We know that the season will consist of nine episodes, and that the first episode will be titled “The Hellfire Club,” an homage to Chris Claremont’s prolific run on Marvel’s X-Men comics.

It also won’t be the last season, though creators the Duffer Brothers have said an end is in sight. “We know what the end is, and we know when it is. [The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show,” Ross Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter in September 2020.

There is no release date yet for Stranger Things Season 4.

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