The cast of Stranger Things and Chief Content Officer of Netflix attended a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour this week to discuss their breakout original series. Fans that binged the series cannot get enough and season 1 has already left them wanting more. So what is next for Stranger Things?
While Netflix has declined to discuss if they are considering green lighting season 2 – but it’s hard to imagine they won’t with the buzz the series is getting. Netflix Chief Content Officers, Ted Sarandos said – “We want to let it breathe a little bit.” So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance!?
The breakout hit is making stars of the child actors overnight and you could say revitalizing Winona Ryder’s career again.
Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer, along with stars Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin were on hand to discuss the breakout hit’s success as well as plans for any future seasons.
The series’ first season does answer most of the questions raised, said Matt. “We want it to feel like a big movie,” he said. “But there’s a bigger mythology, and there’s a lot of dangling threads at the end. We could explore it if Netflix wanted to continue.”
Added Ross, “It’s about giving enough so the audience feels satisfied.” And they appreciate the debate that people are having online. “People can have their own theories,” said Ryder.
The brothers grew up idolizing directors like David Lynch and Steven Spielberg – so obviously these two had a lot of influence on the approach the brothers took for Stranger Things. “These are the guys we grow up watching and idolizing,” he said. “Their work is part of our DNA now.” Added Ross, “What connected Lynch to Spielberg is that these very ordinary people encounter these strange things. Those were our favorite types of stories.”
Ross said casting the young stars was one of the keys to the show’s success, praising their performance. “The second Netflix greenlit us, we started looking right away, seeing kids from all around the world,” he recalled, saying they screened about 1,000 child actors. “As time consuming as it was, there are so few kids that can operate at this level. We can’t do 20 takes… We shoved them together, and we really prayed that this chemistry would work.”
The series’ young stars said they enjoyed learning about the ’80s. “I had no idea what a record player was!” said Brown, getting a huge laugh from the audience. McLaughlin praised the parachute pants, while Matarazzo called holding the giant walkie-talkies “crazy.” “Nowadays you don’t see kids riding their bikes,” he said. “It was really fun to be a kid in the ’80s.”
Ryder also had some advice for her young co-stars: “The work is the reward,” she said. “The attention and the love is so great. I want everyone to feel it and savor it and they so deserve it. But also remember the work itself.”
As for those lights, she called filming those scenes the most challenging.
“Those lights were like my rosebud,” she said. “I don’t think I knew it at the time.”
One thing the Duffer Brothers have hinted at is season 2 would stay within the same era fans adore. The 80’s. Until we hear Netflix has renewed Stranger Things for another season we will sit patiently in our basement with a compass and walkie talkie in hand waiting for our next adventure.