5:39am PT by Hilary Lewis
Netflix Renews 'Stranger Things' for Second Season
Netflix is moving forward with a second season of its breakout series Stranger Things, the streaming service announced Wednesday.
Nine new episodes, one more than the show's eight-episode first season, will air in 2017, with writers-creators Matt and Ross Duffer returning and 21 Laps producing. Executive producers Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and the Duffer brothers will all return for the second season, Netflix added.
The first season of Stranger Things became a hot topic of conversation after the 1980s-set show started streaming on July 15. Speaking at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour a few days later, Matt Duffer said that he and his brother were open to continuing to explore the story with a second season.
"We wanted it to feel like a big movie, so we wanted to resolve that main tension of where Will went and what happened to him," he said. "But there's a bigger mythology behind what happened, and there's a lot of dangling trends at the end. So it's open-ended in a way that if people wanted it and if Netflix wanted it, we could explore it and continue this storyline."
The same day, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that he wanted to give the first season some time.
"We always want to take some time to be thoughtful about the process," he said. "When we first come out of the gate with something, we have an idea where it's going to go, but it's sensible for us to let the show breathe. People are falling in love with it, let's focus on season one."
In terms of where a second season would go, Ross Duffer said they hinted at that at the end of the first season's eighth and final chapter.
At the time, the Duffer brothers indicated they were comfortable with an eight-episode season, like season one, saying that seemed more "manageable" and also like a movie.
"We don't feel like we have to tread water," said Matt Duffer. "The idea would be do it as much as it feels natural and organic to tell that story, and then when it feels like you should bring it to a close ... I think Netflix would support that."
With season two, they added, they would build up the drama slowly instead of starting with a big event.
"We want to retain the tone, but all of our sequels feel a little different," said Ross Duffer. "It's not about just taking another monster — it's a bigger, badder monster. We want it to feel a little bit different, a little bit darker." His brother added: "It's going to be very different structurally, which is fun."
The first season starred Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin. Watch the renewal announcement video below.