The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) 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, and when season 2 was announced, Netflix gave the creators an increase in budget, with each episode for season 2 having 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 (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) 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 (Millie Bobby Brown) outfit of the pink dress & blonde wig are similar and possibly a nod to E.T.'s disguise in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
Natalia Dyer (Nancy) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) are dating in real life, as of October 2017.
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.
Chief Hopper's (David Harbour) trailer reportedly only cost the art department $1 to buy.
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 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.
In season one there is a scene in which the boys' science teacher is watching The Thing (1982). The camera assistant (Clyde E. Bryan) who worked on that scene also worked on "The Thing" - so at that very moment Clyde was pulling focus on a shot of a shot that he pulled focus on.
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. Flagg has appeared in at least nine of his novels, with his first appearance being in "The Stand". His 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.
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.
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 Jacksons Hobbit films.
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 twin actresses that play Holly Wheeler are Tinsley Price & Anniston Price. They are the same twins who played the original baby Judith in Season 4 of The Walking Dead (2010).
Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) medical condition is called cleidocranial dysplasia, a hereditary condition involving abnormal development of the collarbone (clavicle) and skull bones.
The Hawkins Police Department vehicles and uniforms are identical to those used in Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978). This includes the Chief's (David Harbour) 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.
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: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Back to the Future (1985), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and several others.
The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) 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.
Will (Noah Schnapp) is the only child in the series not to swear or cuss throughout the entire series.
The quarry scene in episode 1.2, Stranger Things: Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street (2016), 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 (2016), and Mockingjay: Part 1 from The Hunger Games.
Of the many nods to Stephen King in this series, one of the most obvious is in episode 1.4, Stranger Things: Chapter Four: The Body (2016), when the kids travel a significant stretch along the railroad tracks. Much of the story in the film Stand by Me (1986) (and in the novella it is based on, titled "The Body"), includes kids traveling along railroad tracks.
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 beginning of Season 2, when Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are talking to Max (Sadie Sink) 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 (1993) when the bullies are messing with a character also named Max. They are discussing his recent move from California and call it "tubular".
In the pilot script, Steve Harrington was written as "the biggest douchebag on the planet," going so far as to rape Nancy Wheeler (played by Natalia Dyer). The character changed when actor Joe Keery turned out to be "much more likable and charming than the Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) originally had envisioned."
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.
Holly Wheeler's (Tinsley Price) moments on-screen were unscripted. Moments 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 (David Harbour) 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.
Will (Noah Schnapp), El (Millie Bobby Brown) and Sara Hopper (Elle Graham) each have the same toy stuffed animal Lion from Steiff.
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 (2011), 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 (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) 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' (Charlie Heaton) bedroom.
The character of State Trooper O'Bannon (Ron Roggé) is a reference to Dan O'Bannon, the screenwriter of Alien (1979), The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Dark Star (1974).
The series heavily homages 80s films, especially the work of Steven Spielberg, most notably E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Poltergeist (1982).
The orange cat hissing at Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) reminisce Jonesy from Alien (1979) and the outfit Holly Wheeler Holly Wheeler (Tinsley Price & Anniston Price) wears when following the bulbs is similar to what Drew Barrymore wears as E.T. leaves in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
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.
Dacre Montgomery toned down his six-pack abs for this project because he thought that his excessively shredded abs that he showed in his previous project, Power Rangers (2017), would not suit the character. He said, "I took a step back. Guys in the '80s weren't super-shredded, so I just did a lot of boxing and my diet was not as good, which made for a more realistic body. So I'm a bit chubbier around the edges." Montgomery was a bit apprehensive about showing a less than perfect body on screen saying, "I was a little bit self- conscious that the whole world is seeing this pudgier version of me than was in Power Rangers," but ultimately felt it was the right look for the character.
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 based the look of Joyce on the Meryl Streep character in the film Silkwood (1983).
Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have appeared together once before, in the music video for Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful".
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.
There are many possible homages to the Silent Hill (1999) series of games on the show, particularly the game Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008). 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 (Finn Wolfhard) family share the same last name with Deputy Wheeler from the same game. Elle (El) (Millie Bobby Brown) 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 (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.
The boys are big fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Sean Astin, plays Samwise in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Barbara (Shannon Purser), 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.
The house used in the series as the Wheeler's home was also used in Scream: The TV Series (2015) as Maggie Duval's (Tracy Middendorf) childhood home.
For the Halloween party, Nancy and Steve are dressed up as Lana (Rebecca de Mornay) and Joel (Tom Cruise) from Risky Business (1983).
Callahan is an obvious reference to Father Callahan from Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" and the "Dark Tower" books.
When Joyce (Winona Ryder) goes looking for Will (Noah Schnapp) 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 (Rob Morgan) and Callahan (John Reynolds) have a similar feel to the paranormal investigator's assistants (Marty and Ryan) in Poltergeist (1982). 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 (1987), there is also an officer Powell, played by an African American most likely a reference to Die Hard (1988).
Whenever Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) 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 (1984) (which is also based on a Stephen 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) 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."
Both Winona Ryder and Paul Reiser have been involved in the Aliens franchise. Paul (Aliens (1986)), Winona (Alien: Resurrection (1997)).
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's shaven head was modeled after Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
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.
The "Stranger Things" theme was composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the band "S U R V I V E". The theme is played during the show's title sequence, and during the end credits. The version heard in the title sequence was released as the track 'Stranger Things', as part of Stranger Things, Volume One. An extended version is also featured in Stranger Things, Volume Two.
Noah Schnapp (Will) is not named in the credits for the first episode of the series. You don't see his name credited anywhere until Episode 4: The Body at the end.
The series is actually inspired by the supposed events featured in "The Montauk Project", by Preston Nichols.
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 (Winona Ryder) light-bulb alphabet to communicate with Will (Noah Schnapp), whose principle resembles the scientist's speech-generating device; also, Hawking's works are often centered around fundamental questions about time and space.
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.
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.
Several characters in this show 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).
Officer Callahan's (John Reynolds) name seems likely to be a reference to the character of the same name in the Police Academy (1984) films released in the 1980s.
The character Barbara (Shannon Purser) carries a strong resemblance to the Character Barbara (Patricia Tallman) from the movie Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Winona Ryder (Joyce) and Maya Hawke (Robin) have each played the character of Jo March in different productions of Little Women (1994). Winona Ryder starred in the 1994 US production. Maya Hawke played Jo in the 2017 BBC production, which premieres on Masterpiece Theatre in May of 2018.
The shower Lonnie (Ross Partridge) used in the Byers' home, is the same shower Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) uses later in the Wheelers' house.
Millie Bobby Brown co-stars with Noah Schnapp who played Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie (2015). Millie's actual brother is named Charlie.
L.A.-based band Greg In Good Company has a song titled "Monster's Lair," which was inspired by Winona Ryder's character, Joyce Byers.
Many of the scenes throughout season one are reminiscent of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, all of the scenes with the boys riding bikes especially when they are being chased by the scientists, the scientists using telecom vans to install surveillance, and listening in to all the townsfolk talking, scanning for unusual conversation snippets that lead them to who they are looking for.