Why Stranger Things Season 4 Is Taking So Long, According to Shawn Levy - VRGyani News and Media

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Why Stranger Things Season 4 Is Taking So Long, According to Shawn Levy

Stranger Things fans have been waiting a long time for Season 4 to come out, but executive producer and director Shawn Levy wants them to know the wait is also paining the filmmakers who are putting the new season together. The first season was a smash hit when it hit Netflix in July 2016, and Season 2 premiered the following year in October of 2017. The wait for Season 3 was a bit longer – nearly two years, as those episodes didn’t drop until July 2019. But the wait for Stranger Things Season 4 will be the longest yet, as we’re in the back half of 2021 and production is only just now in the final stretch.

So why is Stranger Things 4 taking so long? It’s a combination of factors, not the least of which being that the pandemic hit right as filming was hitting its stride in early 2020. Production was shut down for a number of months, and when it picked back up again new safety protocols made the filming process even slower.

But as Levy explained to Collider’s Steve Weintraub during an interview tied to the press day of his new film Free Guy, the Stranger Things Season 4 delay is also due to the fact that as conceived by showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer, this is the show’s biggest season yet – by far:

“As much as it pains our viewers that it will have been so long, trust me, it pains Matt, Ross, and I more. It is a kind of perfect storm combination of COVID shutdown, slower pace of filming in COVID protocols and health protocols, which are necessary, and coincidentally we chose Season 4 to be by far — and I mean, by far, far, far — the most ambitious of the seasons.”

Levy added that in contrast to the first three seasons when production was primarily based in Georgia, Season 4 goes outside of Hawkins in a big way:

“It's already known that, as the pandemic was starting, I was over in Lithuania with David Harbour shooting that piece that revealed Hopper's alive. So you kind of know we've got some action in Hawkins, we’ve got some action apparently in Russia, and we have an entire storyline set elsewhere that will soon come to light. So this is the first season where we have this sprawling geography, multiple location shoots, and we're doing it all against a backdrop of a world that has made filming slower longer in delay. So that's why it's taking so long.”

This all makes sense! Everything from 2020 was delayed, and that extends to Stranger Things. Moreover, Levy explained that in contrast to some other shows, Stranger Things has a relatively small creative team:

"The reason Stranger Things take so long is everything is handmade by a very small group of us. The brothers, they want to direct a certain number of episodes every year, I have to direct my episodes every year. We have to be in the edit room and lay hands on all of it ourselves. If you look at the show, there's no like 12 executive producers. It's still a very small group and the controls are rigorous on each episode and on anything that the franchise does, whether it's the drive-through experience in LA or a Nike sneaker that was put out in the summer of 2019, we see and to approve it all."

And it's that control that keeps the quality of the series high. While fans are eager to finally see the new episodes, it certainly sounds like it’ll be worth the wait. Patience, my friends.

Look for more from our interview with Levy on Collider soon.

Steve Weintraub contributed to this report.



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