The upcoming Netflix series Stranger Things seems so well-produced that even before it premieres, there's already talk about the possibility of more episodes. Whether or not Stranger Things returns for Season 2 seems to depend on the wishes of the producers and the businessmen and women behind the highly successful streaming service. It seems like a no brainer to renew a series that combines Winona Ryder, aliens, and tons of 1980s nostalgia, but at this point, it's not even clear if Stranger Things will leave any openings to continue the story, or if it will be a self-contained eight-episode adventure. The atmosphere of the trailers feels more like a film than a TV series — maybe the series will unfold like one, too.
The presumed villain of Season 1, Matthew Modine, gave an interview with French magazine Premiere where he said "it's a series [...] there will be a Season 2, yeah," suggesting that it was already a done deal with Netflix, and suggesting that the plot of Season 1 would continue into a potential Season 2. After that statement spread, according to Screencrush, Netflix denied the Season 2 claim. But creator and showrunner Matt Duffer spoke to IGN, where he clarified that a Season 2 of Stranger Things is possible.
We wanted to do a couple things with this season. We didn’t want to do The Killing thing. We wanted it to resolve that main thing of Will going missing in the first season. So in that sense, it is like an eight-hour movie. Now, we don’t answer all the questions by the end of the season — there are definitely some dangling threads. The hope is that it feels satisfying but that we left room and that if people respond to it we can go back into this world. But if we do get to go back, it’s not a second season as much as a sequel.
So according to Duffer, his vision of Stranger Things Season 2 won't be necessary in order to finish the first season's conspiracy. That's good for fans who may have been worried about having to wait at least a year to find out the answer to the show's central mystery. If the first season of the show can't rely on stretching out a mystery for a whole year, that means that it might actually be building towards a real, satisfying conclusion.
And, since most of the 1980s films that are a clear inspiration for the series don't have sequels, maybe Stranger Things Season 2 (if it exists, that is) will tell a totally different story with only the same cast or possibly the same setting. There could be leaps forward or backwards in time, a completely different hero and villain, or even a change in genre. It remains to be seen whether or not Stranger Things will be a success for Netflix, but with this much buzz about more episodes before the series is even available for streaming, I'm sure they're considering every possibility.