As Stranger Things fans know well, production on the fourth season has only just begun in the first part of 2020 when the COVID-19 lockdowns began and forced a delay in filming on the series. Cameras eventually got back to rolling on the new episodes, but in a new interview one of the stars says that the restrictions that are in place have resulted in what seem like even more unannounced delays in production. Speaking with Collider, Gaten Matarazzo (who plays Dustin Henderson in the series) said that filming restrictions due to the pandemic have forced their schedule for working on season 4 to be very flexible. So much so that it sounds like it might be a while before it's done.
"There's very few dates that are reliable," Matarazzo said. "It really is more of a guesstimation on when we're gonna be filming next, when we're gonna be wrapping up, when release is gonna be, all that jazz because we still don't know on day-to-day if we're gonna be filming next week. I should be filming like next month for a bigger chunk than I've had in a bit, but even though it's coming up in about two weeks from now, I still don't know an exact date. So because of that, there's really no way to figure out when we're gonna be wrapping."
It's unclear how much of season four was shot in March of 2020 before the pandemic shut everything down, but we know that filming restarted in earnest in October of last year. Photos from the set have steadily arrived online in the months since then with some popping up in January of this year and as recently as two weeks ago even. There is one good thing that has become of the delays in production for season four, all of the episodes were able to be written before they really got started.
Matarazzo reiterated this in his talk, confirming that only 5 or 6 episodes had been completed when the first table read took place in February of 2020, but since then The Duffer Brothers finished the season.
It's also worth noting that Matarazzo seemingly being absent from large chunks of filming for the series isn't a bad sign for his character's involvement. As we know from the end of season three the characters would at least be split up in some regard as Joyce, Will, Jonathan, and Eleven all moved away from Hawkins. It stands to reason that our intrepid group of young D&D players turned actual monster fighters will reunite at some point but how and when remains to be seen, especially with an unreliable schedule.
Check back here for more details on Stranger Things season 4 as we learn about them!