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A few weeks before heading back to Atlanta for the second season of Stranger Things, the Netflix breakout that made them TV’s most in-demand siblings, Matt and Ross Duffer are still holed up in the Lake Hollywood rental they’ve used as a writers room all summer.
Contrary to the timing of the renewal, only made official a month prior to this late-September morning, the next batch of episodes seem set in stone. A peek at the discreetly shielded dry-erase board reveals thorough outlines for the nine-episode return — the same nine the Duffers teased out with chapter titles in a promotional video — and the writer-directors say they’re nearly ready to power down their laptops and focus on casting, preproduction and the fall shoot. “I’m sure there is a more efficient way to take advantage of the fact that there are two of us, but we’re basically pretty dysfunctional apart,” says Matt — who, along with his brother, made The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual rundown of the 50 most powerful showrunners.
Speaking with THR, the duo discuss the secrecy around their renewal, the surprising accuracy of Reddit theories that have popped up online and why those season two episode titles they recently teased may not be the same ones that premiere on Netflix in 2017.
Were you instructed to be coy about the renewal when you were promoting the first season?
Matt: They greenlit the second season before we even premiered. So when everyone was going, “Is there going to be a second season?” we had been writing the entire time. So we’ve been working on this almost all summer.
Ross: It drove me crazy. “Please, can’t we just tell everyone we’re doing a second season?”
Matt: Netflix has its mysterious ways, but it actually ended up working because it had built up to this fever pitch. I guess that’s what they were intending to do all the time.
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