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‘Stranger Things 5’ Will Fix One Of The Biggest Criticisms Of Season 4 (At Least Until The Series Finale)

Stranger Things 4 was mighty fun — but it was also mighty long, leading to criticisms of streaming bloat. The runtimes for the fifth and final season won’t be as butt-numbing, at least until the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King-length finale.

“I think we’re aiming for eight [episodes] again,” co-creator Matt Duffer told Collider about the final season. “We don’t want it to be 13 hours. We’re aiming for more like 10 hours or something. I think it’s going to be longer than season one because we just have so much to wrap up, but I don’t think it’s going to be as long as season four.”

On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he added:

“For the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of four, and so it’s going to be moving. I don’t know that it’s going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of five, but it’s going to be moving pretty fast. 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 Return of the King-ish with, like, eight endings.”

Duffer was laughing when he referenced Return of the King, but considering the season four finale is nearly two-and-a-half hours long, maybe it wasn’t a joke.

As for when season five might premiere, David Harbour told GQ UK, “I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year. But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record.” No wonder the Duffers are considering using a time jump — Joe Kerry, who plays teenager Steve Harrington, will be in his early 30s by mid-2024. He could realistically have six lil’ nuggets by then (but seriously, make this spin-off series).

(Via Collider, Comic Book, GQ UK)