Stranger Things only recently resumed filming its much “scarier” new season after shutting down in the early days of the pandemic. That’s too bad, too, as the teaser Netflix released just a few weeks before everything went to hell—Hopper in Russia!—got our wheels turning. It’s been mostly quiet on the Hawkins front since then, but today Netflix announced a whole slew of new cast members alongside their character descriptions, the likes of which cast a little more light on the shape season four is taking.
Most notable among the new batch of names is Robert Englund, O.G. Freddy Krueger and B-movie royalty. He’ll be playing Victor Creel, “a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.” Inspired, that. And it appears this hospital will play a key role in the season. One of the season’s most prominent new cast members, it appears, is a character named Peter Ballard, an orderly at said hospital who’s “tired of the brutality he witnesses day after day.” He’ll be played by Jamie Campbell Bower, who’s perhaps best known as baby Grindelwald. Don’t let Englund out of his cage, dude!
Another season regular is Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn, recently of Overlord. Described as an “audacious 80's metalhead,” Eddie runs Hawkins High’s official Dungeons and Dragon’s club, which is called—cue the music—The Hellfire Club. The Hellfire Club, as we revealed last year, is also the name of the premiere episode. We overanalyzed the hell out of it. Eddie, apparently, will find himself “at the terrifying epicenter of this season’s mystery.”
So, too, will a hunk named Jason Carver. Played by Bosch regular Mason Dye, the handsome, rich jock will see his “world begin to unravel” in the face of a new evil. (Glad they’re giving us a new bad boy. We’re going to miss the hell out of Billy this season.)
The season’s stoner quotient of the new season will be filled by Eduardo Franco, who you likely remember as the guy with long, beautiful hair from Booksmart. He’ll be playing Argyle, a pal of Charlie Heaton’s Jonathan described as a “fun-loving stoner who proudly delivers delicious pizza pies for Surfer Boy Pizza.” We imagine they’ll throw him in a room with Brett Gelman’s hyperactive Murray, a series regular now, and let the odd couple energy flow. (Surfer Boy Pizza is a very good name for a fake pizza shop, by the way.)
The rest of the announced cast members are all military of some sort. We’ve got two Russians played by Nikola Djuricko and Tom Wlaschiha, with the former playing a “seedy and unpredictable” smuggler and the latter a “charming” prison guard who befriends Hopper. And then there’s Sherman Augustus’ Lt. Colonel Sullivan, an “intelligent, no-nonsense man who believes he knows how to stop the evil in Hawkins once and for all.” Can he bring back the Terminator guy from last season? He ruled.
Fold all of this into the show’s disparate web of leads—Joyce, Will, and Eleven left town at the end of season 3, while Steve and Robin are moving from ice cream to VHS—and, well, it’s a lot to process. Let it simmer and revisit our burning questions from last season.