The third season of the Netflix hit Stranger Things was greenlit shortly after Season 2 hit the streaming service last October, and the show is set to resume production next month. Although it is currently unclear when Season 3 will arrive, some new details have emerged.
The updates come via a Stranger Things panel at the annual TV conference PaleyFest in LA. According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Shawn Levy revealed that Season 3 will be set in the summer of 1985, which follows the convention of the last two seasons, which were set a year apart in ’83 and ’84 respectively.
There were no details about the what dangers the young cast would face this time round. However, it was revealed that the story would have more of a romantic emphasis than previous seasons, with both Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard), plus Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink), starting the season as couples. “Mike and Eleven and are going strong, so that’s a relationship that continues, and same with Mad Max and Lucas,” Levy said. “But again, they’re like 13-or-14-year-old kids, so what does romance mean at that stage of life? It can never be simple and stable relationships and there’s fun to that instability.”
In addition, Levy confirmed that there would be more of bully-turned-hero Steve (Joe Keery) in Season 3. The producer made reference to the fact that Steve took on more of a protective role to the younger kids in Season 2, saying, “We’ll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington in season three, and I’ll just say we won’t be abandoning the Dad Steve magic. I don’t want to say much more, but I literally feel that we were walking along and we stumbled onto a gold mine with Dad Steve.”
In January, Levy gave a few more hints as to the direction of the next season. He suggested that the story emphasis might shift, with Will (Noah Schnapp) no longer the center of the show’s supernatural scares. “We’re going to give Will a break,” he said. “We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He’ll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah to play.”
Stranger Things 3 was confirmed in December. Netflix renewed the series on the heels of Stranger Things 2’s debut just before Halloween, when it was watched by a third of the the streamer’s US subscribers. Although it currently has no confirmed release date, star David Harbour told Variety in December that fans “probably won’t get it until sometime in 2019.” In the meantime, click here to see GameSpot’s theories about Season 3.