PaleyFest hosted a Stranger Things panel this weekend, and The Hollywood Reporter did us all a solid by revealing the details the cast and crew dropped about the upcoming season three, which will start production next month. So what can we expect when the Netflix sensation returns?
- The season will be set during the summer of 1985, about a year after the events of season two, and Back to the Future (released in 1985) will be one of the pop culture references for the new episodes.
- The romances between Mike & Eleven and Lucas & Max will still be going strong… or however strong the relationships between 13-year-old kids can be. I don’t think I even danced with a guy until I was like 17, let alone went on a date, so… I’m probably not a good judge of this shit.
- But most importantly, the show knows the one thing we genuinely care about, and plans to capitalize on it:
[Executive Producer Shawn] Levy also revealed that Steve Harrington, played by Joe Keery, will have more of a role in the next season. “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. 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 said.
Steve Harrington is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t he? Season one made it clear that we were supposed to root for Nancy to end up with Jonathan (a character whose name I literally have to google ever single time it comes up), while Steve was relegated to being the hot sorta-bonehead boyfriend with the best hair.
His chemistry with the kids of Hawkins was dumb luck, but by season two it was his defining characteristic (after, you know, DAT HAIR). So while Nancy fulfilled her romantic destiny of banging it out with The Other One, Steve captured our hearts with a nail-bat, some heartbreaking emotional maturity, and those killer hairstyling tips. Honestly, if the show just turned into Steve Harrington’s Adventures In Babysitting, I wouldn’t be mad at it. Point is, I’m glad the producers realize they struck gold, and are planning to mine the shit out of it.
And in behind-the-scenes news, Levy addressed the recent allegations against series creators the Duffer Brothers, who were accused by a former crew member of verbally abusing multiple women on set.
“We were genuinely upset. And we were surprised to hear that anyone felt uncomfortable on set,” Levy said. “I want to be really clear that nobody has been targeting 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,” Levy said on the PaleyFest red carpet of the allegations.
This mostly mirrors the statement released by the Duffer Brothers a few weeks ago, which went on to say, “Due to the high-stress nature of production, tempers occasionally get frayed, and for that, we apologize.” Netflix investigated and found no wrongdoing, but as we’ve learned, these kinds of situations are rarely one-offs. With the show going back into production soon, if there’s more totally untargeted, equal opportunity public yelling sessions, I’m sure we’ll hear about it…