Ah, 1985: the year Studio Ghibli was founded, Super Mario Bros. was released, and Back To The Future first zoomed into theaters. It sounds like the perfect setting for a new season of Stranger Things, which is just what the show’s creators and executive producer have in mind.
While at PaleyFest, EP Shawn Levy teased the show’s latest time jump, which will bring Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Steve (Joe Keery), and everyone else into the start of Ronald Reagan’s second term. The Duffer brothers probably aren’t thinking too much about the politics of the time, of course, not when the show could shout out the debut of Calvin And Hobbes and the first flight of the space shuttle Atlantis. Levy name-dropped Back To The Future specifically as a reference point for the new season.
The new episodes will pick up the relationship threads from the previous season, so prepare to see more Mike and Eleven, and Lucas and Max. “Mike and Eleven and are going strong, so that’s a relationship that continues, and same with Mad Max and Lucas. But again, they’re like 13- or 14-year-old kids, so what does romance mean at that stage of life? It can never be simple and stable relationships and there’s fun to that instability,” Levy told The Hollywood Reporter. Steve, meanwhile, will still be in “dad” mode. “We’ll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington in season three, and I’ll just say we won’t be abandoning the Dad Steve magic,” Levy said. “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 also discussed the recent allegations of abusive behavior against the Duffer brothers, telling THR the crew and producers were “genuinely upset” and “surprised to hear that anyone felt uncomfortable on set.” The EP continued, “I want to be really clear that nobody has been targeted in any way on the basis of race or gender. We all cherish the family that we’ve created onscreen and cherished equally the family that we created on set and we’re going to remain committed to the well-being of that.”