The Reasons For Stranger Things Season 4’s Delayed Release

The Reasons For Stranger Things Season 4’s Delayed Release

Stranger Things season 4 releases on May 27th, 2022, nearly three years after season 3 — here’s why it’s so delayed. Season 3 of the popular Netflix series came out in July 2019, providing the longest gap between seasons yet. The setbacks have only garnered more fevered anticipation as footage has been slowly leaked out, revealing a much larger scope for the upcoming installment. Not only that, but the newest chapter is split into two parts, and the second part releases several weeks after the first on July 1st, 2022. Stranger Things season 4’s delays can partially be blamed on the unprecedented setbacks that the crew faced while working on the series, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are other reasons behind the holdup.


Season 3 of Stranger Things left off with a powerless Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) leaving Hawkins. She agreed to move to California with the Byers family after her adoptive father, Hopper (David Harbour), supposedly died in an explosion. However, the final scenes of season 3 revealed that guards in a Russian facility had imprisoned a Demogorgon and Hopper. Footage from Stranger Things season 4 shows that Hopper is alive in a Russian Prison, Eleven and Will aren’t doing well at their new school, and the rest of the Hawkins teens will have to fight in a war against the Upside Down. In the meantime, theories have been running rampant for the upcoming chapter. Some of these include the possibility of Max (Sadie Sink) having powers, and time travel being a new implication for the show.

Related: Stranger Things Season 4 May Still Have A Subplots Problem

Stranger Things season 4 is an epic saga, and there are more locations than previously seen. Rather than the trouble being centralized in Hawkins, new places include the Creel House, Russia, and California. As the scope of the series has increased to allow these, it’s also brought in a terrifying new monster threatening a hostile takeover of Hawkins. Episodes are reportedly longer, with each episode of Stranger Things season 4 running over an hour. The scale of the upcoming season has also changed drastically. While Stranger Things seasons 1 and 2 operated at a slow-burn pace, season 3 raised the stakes on the action, perfectly setting up the scale of events for the new installment. Vecna (the new season 4 villain) plans to do what the Mind Flayer could not, and it looks like the showdown will be bombastic. Here’s why Stranger Things season 4 took so long and every reason behind the delayed release.

Why Did Strangers Things Season 4 Take So Long To Release?

Stranger Things trailer Will California

Stranger Things season 4’s release faced several obstacles during production that affected its filming process. An increased number of locations, in particular, influenced the delay. Clips from the season showed Eleven and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) attending school together in California, confirming a new location (among others) and story arc for the series. As well as the arcs in Russia and Hawkins, Stranger Things season 4 has to balance three separate stories in three locations, which would’ve taken a lot longer to film. The addition of filming locations and props for Creel House, California, and Russia will have added to the production schedule and extended the gap between seasons. Stranger Things season 4 is the first season in which a significant portion of the story takes place outside of Hawkins.

Along with the exciting possibilities that come with exploring new locations and expanding the overall narrative, it also makes Stranger Things season 4 the most complex to film. The scope of the series has changed significantly over time, and the upcoming installment’s footage is evidence of that. Considering where season 3 leaves off, there are a lot of character arcs to develop and new alliances to uncover, which will take up a lot of time before the gang can reunite fully. Throw in the fact that episode run times have increased to over an hour, and this promises to be a much more complicated season. That is often reflected in the filming schedule.

Stranger Things season 4 faced other production complications as well, most notably due to the pandemic. Filming was halted for half a year in 2020, along with all other Netflix productions at that time. Even after resuming filming, safety concerns added new difficulties to re-creating the Duffer brothers’ vision, which slowed down progress. Having to juggle multiple locations and ensure that each adheres to safety standards takes even more time. Not only that, but multiple cast members had other shooting commitments to work around that were also impacted by the pandemic. Combine that with the show’s lengthy post-production, and it makes sense that Stranger Things season 4 had a three-year production period.

Related: Stranger Things Theory: Season 4 Will Be A Time Travel Story

Why Stranger Things Season 4 Will Be Worth The Wait

Stranger Things season 4 Mike and Eleven

The highly anticipated return to one of Netflix’s most popular shows makes the time gap feel even longer, but hopefully, this gave the crew more time to make something that lives up to the excitement of the expanded scope. After all, the production should take its time to make sure Stranger Things season 4 is well-crafted rather than simply rushing something to satisfy an earlier release date. Shows like Game of Thrones have suffered from this in the past. A rushed season does no favors for a beloved series. If nothing else, the season’s expanded scope proves that the Stranger Things team is determined to surpass what they have done before.

Scenes from Stranger Things season 4 promise a Homeric saga. Max is mourning her brother’s death and charges that nothing has been the same since he left. Her arc (and her reason for levitating in the footage) should be an intriguing development for the character, who usually only gets subplots. The upcoming installment could also see more tension within Mike’s group, as Lucas gains popularity as an athlete. In addition, Eleven and Will should form a deeper friendship as they are forced to navigate High School together, possibly amping up the tension between Will and Mike. Hopper and Joyce are now separated, and it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to get on without each other.

On the sci-fi/action side of the series, Hopper will have to face off with a Demogorgon, as the Russian prison that holds him is using the monster against its inmates. A secret society might recruit Eleven to regain her powers, which would explain Dr. Brenner’s return. Finally, Stranger Things season 4’s main villain Vecna provides an intriguing threat who could have more to do with the Hawkins lab facility than meets the eye. The leader of the Upside Down has now declared war on Hawkins. And based on the creatures swarming the Creel House, more monsters will appear in Stranger Things season 4 than previously witnessed. It’s an exciting time for Stranger Things, and the scope of the new season makes it entirely worth the wait.

Next: Stranger Things Season 4 Needs To Change The Show’s Formula

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About The Author

Autumn Cejer
(151 Articles Published)

Autumn Cejer is a Movie/TV Features Writer for Screen Rant. She has spent her life chatting about popular media to anyone who would listen, even appearing on conference panels to discuss her favorite (and least favorite) shows and movies. Autumn has a Master of Arts in English from Northern Michigan University, where she also taught superhero-themed composition courses. She spends her free time drinking coffee and trying to resist the urge to buy any new books before reading the many she already owns.

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