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Tom Bedford

Stranger Things season 5: cast, plot and everything we know

A cast photo of the writers and stars of Stranger Things season 5.

The excitement for Stranger Things season 5 is reaching a fever pitch, even though you're going to have to be waiting a long time.

The final season of the beloved Netflix original just received the massive news that... it'd started filming again. After a strike-induced hiatus, early January 2024 saw production resume, which means the season is likely a long way from appearing.

Netflix has slowly been sharing key pieces of information about the upcoming season though, and while we're waiting on an official release date and trailer, we do know a few intriguing things about the show and its final season. You can find out everything we know about Stranger Things season 5 below.

Stranger Things season 5 release date

In January 2024, Netflix confirmed that it'd resumed production on Stranger Things after a delay, likely caused by the strikes. The streamer didn't confirm which stage of production the show was in when it was paused, but this all points to one thing: the release date is probably some way off.

Between seasons 2 and 3 there was a two-year gap, while three and four had a three-year gap. Judging by that release pattern, we'd expect Stranger Things season 5 to arrive in 2024 at the earliest, but the gap could be extended. Maybe season 5, 2025?

Stranger Things season 5 cast

(Image credit: Netflix)

We're expecting the usual Stranger Things stars to all return for season 5:

  • Millie Bobby Brown - Eleven
  • Finn Wolfhard - Mike Wheeler 
  • Gaten Matarazzo - Dustin Henderson 
  • Caleb McLaughlin - Lucas Sinclair 
  • Noah Schnapp - Will Byers 
  • Sadie Sink - Max Mayfield 
  • Natalia Dyer - Nancy Wheeler 
  • Charlie Heaton - Jonathan Byers 
  • Winona Ryder - Joyce Byers 
  • David Harbour - Jim Hopper 
  • Maya Hawke - Robin Buckley
  • Priah Feguson - Erica Sinclair

And at least one new face is joining: legendary actress Linda Hamilton is joining the cast, though her role is as yet unknown.

However some characters won't be returning, and not just for mortality reasons. Argyle actor Eduardo Franco confirmed in a YouTube interview that he'd never been asked to return for season 5.

Stranger Things season 5 plot

(Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers for Stranger Things season 4 follow.

We have a better idea about the Stranger Things season 5 plot than we normally do before a new season of the show, and that's because the fourth season ended on quite the cliffhanger.

The big baddie, Vecna, managed to bring down the wall between our world and the Upside Down. Hawkins with hit by a big earthquake, killing loads of people, and unleashing some kind of terror on the town, including big glowing cracks in the ground and lightning storms. 

Now the town is in immediate peril, and our gang of heroes will need to save it and beat Vecna for good. That's not easy when most of them have been labeled by the town as satanic murderers, and linked to many of the deaths in season 4.

One of the side effects of this was that Max nearly died and fell into a coma, something she's still in at the end of season 4, and actress Sadie Sink admitted "I have no idea what is going to happen" to her character in an interview with Deadline.

While season 4 had three linked but separate stories, with some characters in Hawkins but others in Nevada and more in Siberia, the ending of the season brought everyone back to Hawkins, so we'll likely see the characters unite unlike before.

Stranger Things season 5 episodes

As of writing, we don't know how many episodes there will be of Stranger Things season 5, but we do have one piece of information, in the form of an episode title.

Stranger Things season 5 episode 1 will be called 'Chapter One: The Crawl'. As more episode titles come out, and begin to paint a picture of the season, we'll update this article.

(Image credit: Netflix)

While Stranger Things has blossomed into a sci-fi epic over the course of its seasons, the fifth season will have a particular tie to the relatively-restrained second one.

Speaking to Netflix Tudum, Ross Duffer mentioned that when season 2 was commissioned, they came up with loads of ideas of elements they could bring into the story "but it was way too much", and so most couldn't be incorporated.

"For season 5, we're pulling from a lot of those big Season 2 ideas... A lot of our big ending stuff has pulled from stuff that we thought was going to be in Season 2".

Stranger Things season 2 introduced us to Max, developed Eleven's relationship with surrogate father Hopper and her understanding of her path and had our heroes fighting a smoke monster called the Mind Flayer and creepy dogs called Demodogs. In a twist that has since gone forgotten from the series, the season also introduced another girl with powers called Kali, who functioned like a sister to Eleven but only showed up for a single episode before disappearing from the show forever.

We don't know which undeveloped season 2 ideas will be brought back for season 5, and while Kali's existence does seem like a lingering question for Stranger Things, it could be any one of them.

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