Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven became the breakout hit in Netflix's Stranger Things, though fans almost had to suffer through witnessing the character's demise. In a new book that goes behind the scenes of the series, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer admit that their original plan included Eleven sacrificing herself.
“Eleven was going to sacrifice herself to save the day,” Ross Duffer revealed (via NME). “That was always the end game."
He added, “But once we realized that the show was potentially going to go on longer than one season, we needed to leave it more up in the air, because deep down we knew the show just wouldn’t really work without Eleven. And at that point, we knew how special Millie was. If there was going to be more Stranger Things, Eleven had to come back.”
The final episode of the first season saw Eleven confront the Demogorgon, ultimately leading to her disappearance. Luckily, the Duffer brothers didn't have to rewrite much of the finale, as her survival was only hinted at when Chief Hopper left Eggos for her in the woods, teasing that he was looking out for her.
While Eleven's fate might have changed in the series with some minor tweaks, a bigger change to the first season was Joe Keery's Steve, who was originally meant to die in a more definitive way. The Duffers reiterated that it was Keery's performance as the character that shed new light on his potential.
"This Steve character, he was just supposed to be this giant douchebag,” Duffer confessed, with the book detailing what Keery brought to the character.
Season Two saw the debut of Sean Astin as Bob Newby, who died while trying to save Joyce and her kids. The plans for his storyline always ended with sacrifice, but what Astin brought to the role resulted in the character staving off death for a few episodes.
“Sean Astin proved so likable that Bob’s death got pushed from episode four to episode eight because we kept wanting to keep him alive,” Duffer detailed. “It was important to us and also to Sean to give him a bit of a hero’s death. We wanted him to accomplish something meaningful."
Season Three of the series is currently filming and will debut sometime in 2019.
The new book, Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion, is available now.
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