The Upside Down, Patton Oswalt, and things that go up to Eleven
Several weeks after it filled the space that a summer jam song normally does, Netflix has finally made it official and announced that a second season of Stranger Things is going to happen. Revealing a new run with a teaser trailer dropping all of the episode names, we know that the Duffer Brothers’ nostalgia-hitting 80s paranormal action-adventure show will return, continuing the stories of Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, and the adults you don’t care as much about.
But some other details have also started to emerge on the hotly anticipated series. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Ross and Matt Duffer said that the old and young characters from season one will return and be the focus of the show, new ones will be pulled into the mix, new Indiana towns will be explored – in this realm or another – and that the movies they are taking influence from are the best sequels of the 1980s.
Season two will surround the action around four new major characters, though the Duffers remained (understandably) tight-lipped on the fate of the show’s most enigmatic character. “We don’t know about Eleven,” said Ross Duffer. “We leave that up in the air.”
While the entire first season took place in Hawkins, Indiana – as well as the ‘upside down’ version of it – the Duffers say the second season will broaden the Hawkins’ horizons. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” said Matt Duffer. “I will say the opening scene [of the season] does not take place in Hawkins.”
One place we know for certain that the show will return to is the ‘upside down’, the netherworld filled with tulip-headed monsters and throat-nestling slugs. According to the Duffers, “We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the ‘upside down’. So we definitely want to explore a little bit more.
“There’s a lot we don’t know about the ‘upside down’ at the end of Season One. We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of... if the monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.”
In terms of influences, the Duffers mentioned three movies bound to get any fan salivating at the prospect of more. Two of them, both of which were directed by James Cameron, are Aliens and Terminator 2, while Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom rounds up the trio.
David Harbour, who plays local police chief Hopper, added fuel to the fan fire via his Twitter account by announcing that Patton Oswalt, the comedy star and arguably the most beloved nerd on the Internet, will also make an appearance, starring in his own ‘bottle episode’ called The Pollywog. Bottle episodes are ones in which only the principal cast, or a handful of characters, spend the entire episode in one location, and are a trope commonly found in genre television.
Curious about the episode titles in the season 2 video? Spoiler! "The pollywog" is a bottle ep dedicated to new cast member @pattonoswalt 😜— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) August 31, 2016
But Oswalt snuffed out the flames of the potential cameo to end all cameos by telling us all it was all an elaborate joke:
Oh @DavidKHarbour: our playful banter has created a false alarm in the nerd-verse. Welcome to Twitter!— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 31, 2016
With no release date, we can most likely expect Stranger Things Season Two to debut sometime in summer 2017. Take a look at the teaser trailer below and look for clues among the episode titles: