For starters, the season will be one episode longer at nine episodes. “We’re letting the story dictate it,” says Matt Duffer. “I think if it gets any longer, it gets unwieldy for us. We want to make sure it’s manageable and we want to be able to tell a movie-like story where it’s never treading water. We want it to have the same feel and pacing as season one. I think if we extend it too much, it will have a very different feel.”
They confirm that the new season will return to 1984 and the small town of Hawkins, despite initial temptations to take the show into a new decade with the kids having grown up. “I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade,” says Ross Duffer. “That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here; there’s still things that are unresolved… We don’t know about Eleven. We leave that up in the air.”
So that means the return of such fan fave characters as Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) but the Duffers promise at least four new major characters. “There’s going to be a lot of new and interesting dynamics that we didn’t see in season one,” says Matt Duffer.
The show will also be on a slightlu larger scale. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” says Matt Duffer. “I will say the opening scene does not take place in Hawkins.”
The alternate world of Upside Down will also be further explored. “We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down,” says Matt Duffer of season one. “So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of season one.”
“We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins,” adds Ross Duffer. “And a lot of questions there in terms of: if the monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there?”