While many fans hadn’t heard of the Duffer brothers prior to Stranger Things’ opening credits sequence, that doesn’t mean brothers Matt and Ross Duffer hadn’t been a part of their entertainment lives. Now, viewers just know where to direct their praise after marathoning the epic, ’80s-inspired Netflix series. So, who are the men capable of igniting such nostalgia, inciting such fear, and instigating so much fun?
According to an interview they did with Vulture, the Duffer brothers grew up in Durham, North Carolina. They're actually twins, but they revealed to Vulture that they were unsure if they were fraternal or identical. Matt explained that when they were born (in 1984) the doctors didn’t do the tests, and the family just assumed the boys were identical because they looked so similar. He told Vulture, “But we don't actually have confirmation, and we're too freaked out to get a test now because finding out that we're not identical could really screw us up psychologically.” And, there’s more these tight-knit brothers share than DNA; they share Stranger Things. And, for that, fans are all grateful.
In Part 1 of their series of essays about Stranger Things for Entertainment Weekly, the brothers discussed their North Carolina childhood. In the essay, the Duffers wrote about how Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King made their ordinary lives feel like they had potential for the extraordinary, and helped lead to them creating Stranger Things.
We were pretty ordinary kids growing up in the suburbs of North Carolina, and when we watched these films and read these books, it made us feel like our rather normal lives had the potential for adventure. Maybe tomorrow we would find a treasure map in the attic, or maybe one of us would vanish into the television screen, or maybe there was a clown in that sewer grate down the street. The feeling was powerful and inspiring. There was nothing better. We wanted to capture that feeling again with Stranger Things.
In the same Vulture piece mentioned above, the brothers discussed making movies as kids in Durham, saying that they opted to make movies instead of attending summer camps and joining other groups. And, they made their first film in fourth grade. About 20 years later, the brothers are still telling stories together.
A Mashable article recently chronicled The
Duffer brothers' rise to success; their film career started at
Chapman University with early short films. The article mentions Eater, an 18-minute short, as a breakout
film for the Duffers. The flick about a “cannibal on the loose at a police
station” is what led to the brothers being represented by Paradigm Talent
Agency. From there, the brothers worked on Fox’s Wayward Pines and made the movie, Hidden,
with Alexander Skarsgard as the male lead. According to Mashable, the film made a quiet VOD debut after years of release uncertainty in
2015. But, no matter what's happened in their past, Stranger Things has put them and their potential future projects on the map.
So, what’s next? Netflix finally announced Stranger Things season 2 — with a teaser featuring what appears to be the next season’s eerie chapter titles like “The Lost Brother.” And, the Duffers have already started to tantalize fans with hints about the much-anticipated second season. They told Entertainment Weekly that there will be four new characters, the show will venture beyond Hawkins, the show will return to the Upside Down, and there will be 9 episodes. Intrigue. Whatever happens next season, I can’t wait to see what my new favorite dream team has in store.