Stranger Things co-creator Matt Duffer confirmed that the run time of the show's upcoming fifth season will not be as long as the fourth season.
Speaking to the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Duffer explained that there was a lot of backstory required for Season 4 and therefore more episodes were needed. "The only reason we don't expect it to be as long is because if you look at it, it's almost a two-hour ramp-up before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery," he said. "You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, what they're struggling with, adapting to high school, and so forth. Steve's trying to find a date, all of that. None of that obviously is going to be occurring in the first two episodes of [Season 5]."
He added that they left a cliffhanger at the end of Season 4 so fans can expect the next season to "be moving pretty fast" with all the action, "Characters are already going to be in action, they're already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that's going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different. I'm sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer, it's going to be [The Lord of the Rings:] Return of the King-ish with, like, eight endings."
In a separate interview, he also revealed that the entirety of Season 5 will be taking place in Hawkins. "We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in Season 1," he told EW. "A lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in Season 1 – there's something nice about coming full circle."
Fellow creator and brother Ross Duffer added that they are still sorting through the script of the final season as Season 4, Vol. 2 premieres on Netflix. "It's dangerous as a writer to be writing hours and hours and not know where you're going," he said. "I'd rather leave some of that middle journey vague and fuzzy."
He continued, "But so long as you know where that destination is, it sort of gives you that clarity. It's like that lighthouse blinking in the distance ... while a lot of Season 5 is actually pretty blurry, the last 30 minutes of it are pretty clear in our heads. So if we can make the journey entertaining, I think that we have an end that will hopefully satisfy. You can't satisfy everyone, but the hope is that it's something that feels right for this story."
Elsewhere in entertainment, James Cameron revealed he may not direct Avatar 4 and 5.