According to knowledgeable sources, "some if not all" of the Stranger Things kids will unite to negotiate pay raises for future seasons of the show, which released its sophomore season to Netflix on October 27. Stars Millie Bobby Brown (13, Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (14, Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (15, Dustin) and Caleb McLaughlin (16, Lucas) are listed in the report as having earned $30,000 per episode for the first and second seasons with a "less than six figures" bonus once the show took off. (No mention is made of Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers — both times the center of the supernatural activity affecting the otherwise quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana — who takes a less active role in the kids' party.)
The cast is signed for six years, and talent representatives say renegotiations will begin in early 2018. It's unknown if breakout star Brown — who will soon hit the big screen in 2019's Godzilla sequel, King of Monsters — will negotiate separately from the boys. Following the blockbuster success of Warner Bros.' horror hit It, which emerged as the highest-grossing horror film over the summer, it's expected Wolfhard (who starred as the bespectacled Richie) will also carry more weight by the time another round of negotiations goes down.
Per another source, to "get ahead of any potentially awkward adolescent transitions for its young actors," Netflix wanted to shoot seasons three and four back-to-back. "Every time you have a show that relies so heavily on the charm of kids, you want to capture that," the source said. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer and executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen shot down the idea, as they felt it wasn't possible to produce episodes that quickly. None involved chose to comment.
With that idea off the table, the plan will be instead to forge stories that "feel true to where the actors are, in terms of age, at the time the episodes are shot."
The source further designates Stranger Things as Netflix's "most important franchise," thus overriding even the success of such hit Netflix originals as Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Marvel co-productions like Daredevil and The Defenders. With Stranger Things a legitimate giant in terms of views, merchandise and pop culture status, it stands reasonable to believe that Netflix will try to keep its key players happy and not mess with what is proving to be the streaming service's crown jewel.
Stranger Things 3 is already in the works, with the Duffer Brothers aiming to wrap things up with a fourth season.
All episodes of Stranger Things are now available for streaming on Netflix.