Stranger Things Creators Claim Season 5 Will Be Shorter Than Season 4

With each episode lasting at least 70 minutes and the final two episodes rivaling run times of feature-length movies, Season 4 of Stranger Things was easily its biggest season yet, leading audiences to wonder what creators Matt and Ross Duffer have in store for audiences with the upcoming final season. The pair recently noted that the nature of the Season 4 narrative means it required more episodes than Season 5 will need, so while the episode count itself will seemingly be shorter, the series finale will likely still come in at a feature-length run time. Season 4 of Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.

"The only reason we don't expect it to be as long is because if you look at it, it's almost a two-hour ramp-up before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery," Matt Duffer shared with the Happy Sad Confused podcast of developing Season 4. "You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, what they're struggling with, adapting to high school, and so forth. Steve's trying to find a date, all of that. None of that obviously is going to be occurring in the first two episodes of [Season 5]."

He continued, "For the first time ever, we don't wrap things up at the end of 4, and so it's going to be moving. I don't know that it's going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5, but it's going to be moving pretty fast. Characters are already going to be in action, they're already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that's going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different. I'm sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer, it's going to be [The Lord of the Rings:] Return of the King-ish with, like, eight endings."

The filmmakers also noted that, in their opinion, most series have great penultimate episodes, with the final chapter serving more as a wrap-up or epilogue of a series. In this regard, the Season 4 finale was nearly two and a half hours to function as both a penultimate episode and the finale. 

Even if the final season won't be as long as Season 4, Matt confirmed that the series finale will likely be at least two hours.

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Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

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