The Duffer Brothers confirmed in an interview with Vulture on August 22, 2017 that the show has been renewed for a third season ahead of the premiere for the highly anticipated debut of season two on October 27th. The Netflix Original Series directors also explained their plans to renew the show for a fourth season as well, saying "We're thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out."
In season 1 the budget per episode was around 6 million dollars, when season 2 was announced Netflix gave the creators an increase in budget, when creating each episode for season 2 they had an 8 million dollar budget, only 2 million less than the first season of Game of Thrones (2011) at a budget of 10 million per episode.
In an interview on NPR, the Duffer brothers praised Millie Bobby Brown as a precociously gifted actor and said that she is able to adjust her performance to different lens or camera positions in a way that most child actors don't know how to do. But they also said that there were times on the set when they were reminded that she was just a little girl; the example that Ross Duffer gave was, "one day she showed up on set and she [was] just covered head to toe in glitter. And she's like, 'I don't know where this glitter came from.' And it's like I'm not having this problem with any of my adult actors. David Harbour is not coming in covered in glitter." The Duffers said that removing the glitter delayed their shooting schedule by 45 minutes.
Eleven's outfit of the pink dress & blonde wig are similar and possibly a nod to E.T.'s disguise in the movie "E.T.: Extra Terrestrial"
When listening to the theme song on Spotify, the album cover page turns into the upside down with the time bar turning into a flashlight pointing at the album cover.
Natalia Dyer (Nancy) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) are dating in real life, as of October 2017.
Winona Ryder is admittedly a late bloomer in terms of electronic devices and supposedly did not know what streaming was, when she was approached for this Netflix series.
Gaten Matarazzo's voice had changed so much by the time production ended that the sound team could not use him for additional dialogue recording.
Winona Ryder portrays a mother whose child has gone missing. In real life, Ryder dedicated the film Little Women (1994) to Polly Hannah Klaas, a young girl from her hometown of Petaluma, California, who went missing and was later revealed to have been kidnapped and brutally murdered. She offered a $200,000 reward for anyone with information on the subject, and as of 2016 she still remains a strong supporter of the Polly Klaas Foundation for Prevention of child abduction, and aid in the search.
To continue the trend of homaging Stephen King; the character of Billy (Dacre Montgomery) was designed after King's most infamous of villains, Randall Flagg. Whose unmistakable attributes include long wavy hair, an earring, and dressed head to toe in denim. This gives a hint into the sinister nature of the character.
The state trooper guarding the morgue is reading "Cujo" by Stephen King. This is one of the show's many hat tips to the author's work.
The password to enter 'castle byers' is "Radagast". He is one of the wizards featured in The Lord of The Rings, and who appeared in Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.
The twin actresses that play Holly Wheeler are the same twins who played the original baby Judith in Season 4 of The Walking Dead (2010).
The Hawkins Police Department vehicles and uniforms are identical to those used in Jaws and Jaws 2. This includes the Chief's tan uniform, Amity Island triangle shaped patch, and beige SUV that was worn/used by Roy Scheider's character. This also includes the blue uniforms and trooper/sheriff style hats worn by the patrolman, which also matches the Amity Island Police uniforms from the Jaws films.
Dustin's medical condition is called cleidocranial dysplasia, a hereditary condition involving abnormal development of the collarbone (clavicle) and skull bones.
The official poster for the series was created by Kyle Lambert. It was done in an art style inspired by acclaimed poster/album artwork artist Drew Struzan, who has created official posters for Star Wars (1977), "Indiana Jones," Back to the Future (1985), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and several others.
The Duffer Brothers originally wanted to direct the remake of Stephen King's It, but were turned down. Finn Wolfhard (who was always the first choice to play Mike) was already attached to play Richie in It (2017). However, production delays caused filming of that project to be pushed back a year, therefore making Wolfhard available to participate in both projects.
The series's logo resembles the font used on the covers for the original 1980s editions of Stephen King novels, notably Cujo and Christine.
The Demogorgon, according to Dragon Magazine, is considered the most powerful villain in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It rules as a Demon Prince of the Abyss, an ever-changing plane of chaotic evil.
The quarry scene in Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street is the same location used in The Walking Dead (2010) Season 1, most notably episode 4, "Vatos." The quarry also appears in the Netflix movie "The Fundamentals of Caring"
In the beginning of Season 2, when Dustin and Lucas are talking to Max about how she's from California and that she likes skateboards. They make a joke and throw around the word "tubular". This joke also appeared in the 1993 film Hocus Pocus when the bullies are messing with a character also named Max. They are discussing his recent move from California and call it "tubular".
Of the many nods to Stephen King in this series, one of the most obvious is in episode 4 ("The Body") when the kids travel a significant stretch along the railroad tracks. Much of the story in the film "Stand By Me" (and in the novella it is based on, titled "The Body"), includes kids traveling along railroad tracks.
Roane County, Etowah, and Jonesborough are real places in east Tennessee as is the labs in Oak Ridge, TN, where they developed the Uranium for the Manhattan Project.
Millie Bobby Brown actually had her head shaved for her role while her mother filmed the whole cutting session with a camcorder. Her father was so traumatized by the event, he sobbed and couldn't bear to watch. The footage of the event was uploaded to YouTube.
In the pilot script, Steve Harrington was written as "the biggest douchebag on the planet," going so far as to rape Nancy Wheeler. The character changed when actor Joe Keery turned out to be "much more likable and charming than the Duffer Brothers originally had envisioned."
Holly Wheeler's moments on-screen were unscripted. When she slouches at the dinner table and in another scene replies, "Yes!" were ad-libbed.
In another homage to 80's movies, Police Chief Jim Hopper is named after the character Arnold Schwarzenegger first goes looking for in Predator (1987). Additionally, the first character killed onscreen in "Predator" was named Hawkins. Stranger Things takes place in the fictional Hawkins, IN.
Even though the original score is electronic and very Tangerine Dream influenced, actual Tangerine Dream track excerpts can be heard over some scenes. At least one track from their album Green Desert was used in the pool scene at the party in series one.
Shares many similarities with J.J. Abrams film _Super 8_ which was also created and heavily inspired as a throwback to 1980s film, writing and themes - especially the influence of Steven Spielberg.
In an interview, The Duffer Brothers admitted that they were inspired by anime Elfen Lied (2004), which was inspired by another classic anime Akira (1988)
Millie Bobby Brown (who plays Eleven) was eleven years old during casting and filming.
Will is the only child in the series not to swear or cuss throughout the entire series.
John Carpenter's films are a touchstone for the series; for instance, the movie poster for The Thing (1982) appears in several scenes. Carpenter has also composed the scores for several of his films. The main theme is highly reminiscent of Carpenter's electronic scores.
Matthew Modine stated in an interview that the character of Dr. Brenner was written as wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Instead, Modine worked closely with the Duffer brothers to craft the character's look, and patterned his hair after Robert Shaw in Battle of the Bulge (1965) and a pristine suit after Cary Grant's wardrobe in North by Northwest (1959).
The repeated shots of the Byers' home with the porch swing in the foreground is an homage to The Evil Dead (1981). The poster for The Evil Dead is also seen in Jonathan Byers' bedroom.
During the pilot when the boys are confronted by school bullies, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is mocked about his teeth and quickly explains that he has "Cleidocranial Dysplasia," a rare genetic disorder with which he was actually born.
The character of State Trooper O'Bannon is a reference to Dan O'Bannon, the screenwriter of Alien (1979), The Return of the Living Dead and Dark Star (1974).
In an interview, Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery admitted that they get along quite well in real life. They worked together to find ways of increasing the tension between their characters.
The series heavily homages 80s films, especially the work of Steven Spielberg, most notably ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Poltergeist.
The orange cat hissing at Eleven reminisce Jonesy from Alien and the outfit Holly Wheeler wears when following the bulbs is similar to what Drew Barrymore wears as E.T. leaves.
Winona Ryder and David Harbour were first on board during the series casting. Harbour had been a fanboy of Winona in Heathers (1988) when he was a teenager and the pair got along extremely well on ST set.
D'Artagnan is named after the main character from The Three Musketeers (1948) by Alexandre Dumas, This explains why Dart's favorite food is a Three Musketeers candy bar.
Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) was born in 1971. Season one takes place mainly in 1983, and season two opens on the day before her 13th birthday -- meaning Ryder was roughly the same age in real life as all of the main young child characters were when the series takes place.
Joe Keery who played Steve and Noah Schnapp who played Will have been promoted from recurring characters to regulars in Season 2.
One of the most popular and recognizable aspect of Stranger Things is its 80's inspired opening theme music. It's influence is drawn from 'John Carpenter' style synth music. Most notably from the track "Abduction at Airport" from the 1986 movie Big Trouble in Little China (1986). The music in question plays during an abduction of one of the films protagonists, who is kidnapped and later held captive by otherworldly creatures, as her friends attempt to rescue her throughout the film. A plot point shared by the show as well.
Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have appeared together once before, in the music video for Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful".
Winona Ryder based the look of Joyce on the Meryl Streep character in the film Silkwood (1983).
There are many possible homages to the Silent Hill series of games on the show, particularly the game Silent Hill: Homecoming. In addition to the similarities of the dark "Otherworld" of Silent Hill and the "Upside-Down" (both mirroring the real world, but decrepit and filled with a haze and falling flakes like ash), there are also living portals in inanimate walls, one of which an agent "Shepherd" tears into so he may pass through, just as the character Alex Shepherd does in Homecoming. Mike's family share the same last name with Deputy Wheeler from the same game. Elle (El) is a prominent character in Silent Hill: Homecoming. An "Eleanor Gillespie" is mentioned in Stranger Things; the Gillespies are a crucially important family in the Silent Hill mythos (and Alessa Gillespie is a telekinetic little girl who spends most of her life in a hospital). The actor Finn Wolfhard bears an uncanny resemblance to Alex Shepherd's little brother, Joshua.
In Episode 4, the Coroner is Shawn Levy, who directed the episode and is an Executive Producer for the series.
Allegedly inspired by the mysterious Montauk Project of the early 1980's, which was believed to have studied psychological warfare, time travel, and interdimensional travel.
The boys are big fans of JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Sean Astin, plays Samwise in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Nancy and Barbara, best friends in this show, are the names of the two first-ladies that the United States had during the 80s; Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush.
Callahan is an obvious reference to Father Callahan from Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" and the "Dark Tower" books.
When Joyce goes looking for Will at Castle Byers in the first episode and has a flashback, the password to get in is Radagast. This refers to one of the five wizards (Gandalf the Gray, Saruman the White, Alatar and Pallando the two blue wizards, and Radagast the Brown) in Lord of the Rings, and is one of many references to the books throughout the series. Only Saruman, Gandalf, and Radagast appear in the movies.
Officers Powell and Callahan have a similar feel to the paranormal investigator's assistants (Marty and Ryan) in "Poltergeist." Officer Callahan even wears the same style of glasses as Marty.
Just as the Chief's name, Hopper is a reference to the film Predator, there is also an officer Powell, played by an African American most likely a reference to Die Hard.
Whenever Eleven utilizes her telekinetic powers her nose bleeds. The same symptom occurs with the telekinetic father (played by David Keith) in the Drew Barrymore '80's cult classic Firestarter (which is also based on a Steven King novel). In that movie, the government also pursues a telekinetic girl (played by Barrymore) in order to utilize her as a weapon.
A recent poster for season two is almost identical to the alien 1979 poster along with the title. Minor changes from the original being color and title. While aliens picture is of an egg stranger things picture is modeled in the same shape but as a picture of The Upside Down world. Title is mostly verbatim with the words [the upside down] instead of [space]. "In the upside down no one can hear you scream"." in space no one can hear you scream."
The Demogorgon is an actual Dungeons and dragons Monster. He is featured in several stories as the prince of demons. By contrast, the "veil of shadows" isn't a real place. Its closest counterpart is Shadowfell, a plane connected to the material world that resembles it, but is populated by undead and evil creatures. Earlier versions of Dungeons and Dragons featured a 'Demiplane of Shadow' or 'Plane of Shadow' which was a twisted, dark version of the material world it surrounded.
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) appeared in NCIS (2003) S12E06. In the scene when Tony and Bishop enter the hotel room where Rachel (Millie) is supposedly staying, there is an episode of The Big Bang Theory (2007) running on the hotel TV and Tony remarks that it had Dungeons and Dragons on that particular episode.
Milly Bobby Brown's shaven head was modeled after Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Both Winona Ryder and Paul Reiser have been involved in the Aliens franchise. Paul (Aliens), Winona (Aliens: Resurrection).
The series is actually inspired by the supposed events featured in "The Montauk Project", by Preston Nichols.
The (pocket) knife used by Chief Hopper (David Harbour) is a Gerber AR 3.00 Knife, Serrated Edge, Black . It it used multiple times. Once while in the morgue, another when tearing up his couch.
This TV series shares the basic plot line with NBC's (cancelled) series Believe (2014). Both series are about a girl with special powers (telepathic / telekinesis), that is lab-tested by a non-gov organization which wants to use her as a weapon.
There are many homages to English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. Including the town's alliterating name, Hawkins; Joyce's light-bulb alphabet to communicate with Will, whose principle resembles the scientist's speech-generating device; also, Hawking's works are often centered around fundamental questions about time and space.
Despite his character (Johnathan Byers) being a big fan of The Clash, Charlie Heaton has admitted that he is not a fan of the band.
Officer Callahan's name seems likely to be a reference to the character of the same name in the Police Academy films released in the 1980s.
Several characters in this show have are named after famous actors or directors who were very successful in the 80s. Some examples: Hopper (Dennis Hopper), Dustin (Dustin Hoffman), Lucas (George Lucas), Steve (Steven Spielberg).
The character Barbara (Shannon Purser) carries a strong resemblance to the Character Barbara (Patricia Tallman) from the movie Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Millie Bobby Brown co-stars with Noah Schnapp who played Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie (2015). Millie's actual brother is named Charlie.
The shower Lonnie used in the Byers' home, is the same shower Nancy Wheeler uses later in the Wheelers' house.