You wouldn’t know it from the way fans binge-watched every episode in record time, but Stranger Things’ fourth season was its longest yet. One might expect the Duffer Brothers to go even more supersized for the fifth and final season, but on a new episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, they pledge to make episodes of a more reasonable length.
“We don’t expect it to be as long. And the only reason we don’t expect to be as long is because typically—or this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery,” says Matt Duffer. “You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, 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]. For the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of four.”
He continues, “I don’t know that it’s going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of [Season 5], 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,” he concedes, suggesting that the finale will be another movie-length, two-plus hour event. “It’s going to be Return Of The King-ish with, like, eight endings.”
That said, “If you had talked to us at the start of writing [Season 4] I would have told you it’s about eight episodes and they’re about an hour long each, so I don’t know. I wouldn’t trust a word that comes out of my mouth.” In other words, we might want to block a few days off our calendar just in case.