Stranger Things season 3 is still a few months away but we've had some hints of what's to come. Here's everything we know so far.
A number of months ago, we learned that the show's release date had been delayed from Halloween 2018 to summer 2019.
The show's creators, the Duffer Brothers, said they wanted to take their time "to deliver something bigger and better" than ever before.
Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content, Cindy Holland, said: "It’s a really exciting season, just takes a little more time." She also noted that the upcoming series will have many more special effects than the previous two.
Since then, the official release date was revealed to be July 4th (Independence Day) 2019.
JULY 4 pic.twitter.com/UX9M1L02rd
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) January 1, 2019
Teasers and trailers
Alongside the date announcement a couple of weeks ago came a teaser trailer for 'Stranger Things' season 3.
It includes footage from Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve from the year in question. There are also cryptic shots of a computer interface with clues such as the words: "When blue and yellow meet in the west."
Previously, a teaser for the new season arrived in July of last year. The 'advertisement' for 'Starcourt Mall' implies that the shopping centre will play a significant role in the new series. In the clip, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is working at ice cream parlour, Scoops Ahoy, alongside new character Robin, played by Maya Thurman-Hawke (daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke).
The episode titles for the new season are also in the public domain. However, it's hard to draw hints for the plot from them.
Series regulars Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are all back. Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) return among the youngsters too.
Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer and David Harbour are also returning for season 3.
Cary Elwes (best-known for playing Westley in The Princess Bride) and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) will join the series in guest star roles.
Busey plays Bruce, a journalist for The Hawkins Post "with questionable morals and a sick sense of humour".
Elwes, meanwhile, plays Mayor Kline, who is being described as handsome, slick and sleazy; "your classic 80s politician - more concerned with his own image than with the people of the small town he governs".
The aforementioned Maya Thurman-Hawke is another new cast member.
On top of this, Season 2 scene-stealer Priah Ferguson (Lucas' bold younger sister Erica) is now in the main cast and plays a much larger role in the new season. According to a release from Netflix, season three will see Erica embark on a "wild mission to save Hawkins from a dangerous and unexpected new threat".
Another of season 2's characters returning is Billy (Dacre Montgomery), Max's big brother.
The new season features a time-jump into the summer of 1985.
While there's no official plot synopsis yet, we do know that Mike and Eleven are still together, as are Lucas and Max.
"They're like 13 or 14-year-old kids, so what does romance mean at that stage of life?" exec producer Shawn Levy told The Hollywood Reporter back in 2018. "It can never be simple and stable relationships and there's fun to that instability,"
Levy added that 'Dad Steve' will make a comeback:
"I don't want to say much more, but I literally feel that we were walking along and we stumbled onto a gold mine with Dad Steve."
Levy additionally told Glamour back in January that season three will "deal with forces of evil that are new".
He told The Playlist that the show will be "unquestionably more action-packed, than we’ve ever gone before."
Ross Duffer said in behind-the-scenes book 'Worlds Turned Upside Down' that the characters are "growing up" this season.
"It’s really the final summer of their childhood," he wrote. "They’re dealing with growing up, with these complicated new relationships. They’re starting to fall apart a little bit, and maybe they don’t love playing Dungeons & Dragons as much as they used to. Naturally, that’s going to generate conflict."
Duffer also told THR that The Upside Down monsters return to the picture.
"They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven. It had not encountered her and her powers until that final episode. Now, it knows that she’s out there. We wanted to end on a little bit of an ominous note."
Star of the show Dyer recently told MTV News that the new episodes will be "bigger, darker, scarier" than ever before.
'Stranger Things 3' hits Netflix on 4 July 2019.