Linda Hamilton Joins ‘Stranger Things 5’—Everything We Know: Release Date, Cast & More

After nearly three years of waiting, Stranger Things 4 finally dropped last summer. But now, over a year after that explosive finale, one major question remains: When will we get season 5?

The Duffer Brothers, who created the smash-hit science fiction series, revealed in February 2022 that (sadly) the upcoming fifth season will be the show’s last. However, while the pandemic delayed filming on the fourth season, the brothers revealed in an interview with Variety that we can expect the gap between the fourth and fifth seasons to be much smaller. That is, if the WGA and SAG-AFTRA unions can reach a deal with the major studios. Since SAG-AFTRA joined the picket lines on July 14, production on many shows has ground to a halt.

With all that floating in the air, keep reading for more details about Stranger Things 5, including a speculated release date, filming schedule, cast and more.

1. When Can We Expect Season 5 of Stranger Things?

In a statement given to Variety, Matt and Ross Duffer said, “During the six month pandemic hiatus, we outlined season 5 and pitched it to Netflix. Everyone there had also been present when we first pitched the show in 2015. While we were strangers then, we were now friends, and there were a lot of tears when it was over. It’s just been an extraordinary journey for all of us, and while it’s hard to believe that we’re approaching the end, we feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing partners.”

Though the Duffer Brothers originally postulated a shorter hiatus between seasons, everything will depend on how the strikes are resolved between WGA, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP.

While production may be on hold, viewers can expect exciting developments in season five, including the appearance of Linda Hamilton, best known for her role in as Sarah Connor in The Terminator franchise. Her involvement was confirmed a month ago by her former co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a Netflix casting announcement.

Additionally, in light of the season four finale, fans can expect a quasi-military lockdown as Hawkins teeters on the edge of being consumed by the Upside Down. We expect to see Venca fully recovered and back, ready to annihilate everything that stands in his path. Max will be back, though in what capacity is undetermined, as confirmed by Sadie Sink. The show will need to confront Eleven’s ability to resurrect the dead, and she may find herself needing to make the ultimate sacrifice to close the gates.

David Harbour in 'Stranger Things.'

2. When Will Stranger Things 5 Start Filming?

At the Middle East Film & Comic Con, David Harbour (who plays Jim Hopper) revealed that Stranger Things 5 was scheduled to begin filming in June 2023, but has been postponed due to the strikes.

“We’re walking into season five,” he said. “I've got a couple more months to train. We start shooting that in June, though, and that will be the final season.” Now, the schedule and the release date are thrown into question due to the Hollywood strikes.

Filming for prior seasons of Stranger Things usually lasted for months. While Stranger Things 4 was interrupted by the pandemic, the season before that filmed from April 2018 to November 2018. So, we can likely expect a similar timeline for the filming of season five.

3. What Is Stranger Things 5 About?

Though we don’t know the central plot yet, the crew previously teased what's to come in Stranger Things season five. In August 2022, the writer’s room account posted an image to Twitter with the caption “Day 1” written on the top. The picture showed a whiteboard with “Stranger Things 5” written with a black and red marker. The Stranger Things Instagram account followed up in November, teasing a photo of the script for the first episode, titled “Chapter One: The Crawl.”

Fans can also expect the last season to tie up loose ends. In an interview with Collider, Finn Wolfhard said, “I think it answers an insane amount of questions about the lore of Stranger Things, the world-building. It’s the last season, so we kind of want to get back to the roots of why the show was so special in the first place, and why the dynamics are so special in the first place, and sort of getting back to that. I think it’s gonna be very sad, but I’m also just excited, as a fan, to get into it. I didn’t even know how it ends yet, truly.”

4. Will Season 5 Be the Final Season?

Sadly, yes.

Back in February 2022, the Duffer Brothers confirmed that season five will be the show's last in an open letter to fans. The creators wrote, “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four or five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but—as you'll soon see for yourselves—we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; Season 5 will be the last.”

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean fans will have to say goodbye to the Upside Down for good. The Duffer Brothers also teased the possibility of a spin-off, adding, “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.”

*Fingers crossed*

5. How Many Episodes Will There Be?

So far, every season of Stranger Things has been a total of either eight or nine episodes, so it’s fair to assume that the final season will follow this pattern (and maybe even offer a couple more so that the series can wrap up nicely). Although, if this tweet from the writers’ room is any indication, it seems that season five will have eight.

stranger hero3

6. Is There a Trailer?

No trailer has been released yet since filming has not commenced on Stranger Things 5, but you can bet we’ll have our eyes peeled for the minute that one drops.

stranger hero4

7. Which Cast Members Will Return?

Netflix has not revealed which cast members will be returning for season five of Stranger Things. However, we’re hoping that the entire principal cast will take part in the final episodes, including Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Natalie Dyer, Charlie Heaton and Maya Hawke.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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Greta Heggeness

Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...
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