The beginning of Stranger Things 2 kicks off with an explosive car chase featuring characters some brand new characters. Though the series is known for its homages to the '80s, this scene in particular referenced something more contemporary.
Ross and Matt Duffer, the creators of the Stranger Things, revealed they were heavily inspired by Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed Batman film when they were crafting the opener to the season premiere.
"We were definitely going for [a Dark Knight vibe]," said Matt in an interview with Vulture. "Some of this stuff happens subconsciously, so I’m sure, yeah, we were ripping off Chris Nolan. Some of it was deliberately. We put on movie music when we write — I know I wrote that [scene] to The Dark Knight score or The Matrix, one or the other. But we love that kind of film, and we don’t usually get to explore that kind of vibe or tone on the show, so I think that’s really why we did it."
The scene in question takes place at night on the highways of Pittsburgh in an industrial section of the city. The visuals are reminiscent of the chase scene in The Dark Knight, when Batman rides the Bat-Pod in pursuit of the Joker in an 18 wheeler.
Matt continued to provide some insight into the filming process for that scene, which took place in Atlanta.
"We did [shoot the scene in Atlanta], and then the [Pittsburgh] skyline we added," Matt said. "Instead of [Kali] manipulating this tunnel, it used to be that she was manipulating a bridge. We were going to have this really spectacular bridge sequence, and there’s a lot of really great bridges in Pittsburgh. That’s I think ultimately why we chose it, but you just cannot find a bridge anywhere even near Atlanta. You actually can’t even find a tunnel. That tunnel was actually about 20 feet long. It was ridiculous. It was the tiniest, puniest tunnel, and we just ended up extending it with computer graphics."
Ross added an explanation for their inclusion of the chase scene, explaining why they decided to kick the series off in a new location with new characters.
"It was a pretty time-consuming endeavor, but we wanted to throw people off a little bit and make them feel a little bit uncomfortable," said Ross. "It’s always the balancing act, right? You’re trying to do new and different things. You don’t want to repeat yourself. You want to be familiar, but not too familiar. That’s obviously the struggle moving forward."
Fans can see the Duffer's homage to Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy right now; Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix.