Hiro Koda has had a vast career in Hollywood, working in stunts since the '90s on various Power Rangers shows and much more. Now, Koda serves as the Stunt Coordinator on multiple hit series, including Stranger Things. He joined the Netflix show for its third season and worked as the Second Unit Director in addition to being in charge of the epic stunts. Recently, ComicBook.com spoke to Koda about his time on the show and asked about its upcoming fourth season. Like so many series, Stranger Things had to halt production due to the current pandemic. We asked Koda what he could tell us about season four, when the series will resume filming, and how stunts will be affected in the new world of social distancing.
"All I can tell you is that season four is... It's darker. It's going to be epic. There's lots of great surprises and all your favorite people are in it," Koda teased. "It's going to be so good. It's so epic. I've gotten to read through almost eight scripts now, so it's pretty awesome. I don't know how many we're going to get."
Koda revealed that they had filmed two episodes of season four before production shut down, and while he doesn't know when filming will resume, he shared a lot of thoughts about the production's future: "It's really just this pandemic and trying to figure out when productions will be going back. We're kind of spread out this year. We usually shoot just in Atlanta, but we've been spread out in two different places this year. So trying to figure out the scheduling of it. And then not just dealing with when production is going to actually start in Atlanta, most of the cast is from California. So when California decides to open up that's the other issue, when the actors will feel comfortable to come. And also just figuring out all the new protocols that we're going to have to take on set with everybody."
He added, "There's been lots of discussions and it's going to be really interesting because the president has given us these guidelines for the states to open up in phases. Some of the phases allow companies to open up and be like 25% employees, and then it goes to 40% or whatever, and then it kind of increases from there. But with us, as a film production, we have to be 100%. And then, as far as social distancing, we can separate ourselves and work in and out of set in waves, instead of everybody on set at once. That's easier to control. Everybody can wear masks and gloves and whatever, but the actors can't, they have to take the masks off. They've got to be in close contact."
He continued, "Stunts, all stunts that we do, we're physically touching each other because we're fighting, and we're dealing with the cast and putting them in harnesses and wires and flying them. And stunt people are always together fighting and rolling around. So it's going to be an interesting thing to try to figure out."
Stay tuned for more from Hiro Koda's interview, which includes behind-the-scenes details about Stranger Things' third season, Power Rangers throwbacks, Big Little Lies stories, and more.