David Harbour Says 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Won't Drop Until 2019, But That's Actually A Good Thing

In news that might cause fans to try and craft their own time machines so they can voyage to the future, David Harbour confirmed Stranger Things Season 3 probably won't drop until 2019, according to Variety. However, this isn't as tragic as it may seem. After all, the fact that the Duffer Brothers can write their script without having to rush is surely a fantastic thing. Harbour explained that the twin brother directors need the time to perfect the writing on the show, telling Variety,

"I mean, one of the things that’s annoying for fans is that it takes us a long time to do them. Like, you probably won’t get [Season 3] until sometime in 2019. But also part of the thing is, like any good thing, they need time. And those guys work so hard. I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day."

Of course, the fact that fans have to wait until 2019 makes a lot of sense, even beyond the writing aspect. While Stranger Things Season 3 was confirmed earlier this month, there were hints that it would be unlikely that fans would get the next installment in 2018. In October 2017,Vanity Fair claimed it took the Duffer Brothers 15 months to pen and shoot the series, from start to finish, before adding in special effects for Season 2.

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But as Harbour's comment implies, it's not about how long the entire creation process of shooting and editing takes, but how long one particular aspect of the series takes — penning the damn thing. In November, the brothers told Variety that Stranger Things' streaming channel had proved helpful. They explained, "The format of Netflix was the dream for us. It allowed us to make cinematic, longer episodes without interruption." Their point underlines the obvious: With most of the episodes in Stranger Things Season 2 clocking in around the 50-minute mark, of course it would take a while to write the scripts, compared to shorter shows. The word "cinematic" stresses one other major point, namely, how ambitious the brothers are with their scripts.

This is something implied in the brother's description of their writing process in the same interview, something which sounds incredibly time-consuming. They describe pitching "so many ideas every day" to each other and being "not timid around each other" in terms of honest feedback, which makes it sound like the pair have a lot of debates about the storyline. But this is a positive process, since Matt Duffer told Variety, "It’s great to have a safety net where hopefully, between the two of us, nothing really bad will ever get through."

Similarly, in the Duffer Brothers' Deadline interview in October 2017, Matt implied they're being equally ambitious in terms of sketching out the storyline. As the piece confirmed, the series has been extended for four seasons, meaning they can't plan season by season, they're forced to think long-term. When asked if he had a sense of how the Netflix series would end, Matt responded,

"We think we know where we want it to end basically, we’re not sure how long it’s going to take to get there. If a lot of people continue to watch the show that’s not reason enough to do another season. There has to be a narrative reason for it to exist."
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His twin Ross implied in the same interview that thinking long-term was essential for avoiding obvious scriptwriting no-nos, like repeating themselves. He also seemed thankful that one aspect was on their side: The fact that the main characters are all kids. He explained,

"The characters are naturally evolving and they’re going to go into high school and so every year it’s going to feel very different and that’s exciting for me."

Of course, it's no secret that the twins' scripts are fire. Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy told Vulture that when he was given the pilot script, he was told ,"It’s by these twin brothers no one’s ever heard of. And it may be the best pilot I’ve ever read." The same article reports that the brothers first came to fame because The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan saw a script of theirs and hired them to write episodes of Wayward Pines . We've also seen this with Stranger Things — with a 94 percent Rotten Tomato rating for Stranger Things Season 1 and the same approval rating for Stranger Things Season 2 (and respectively 95 and 92 percent audience approval ratings), they've clearly delivered scripts that critics and fans alike adore.

So yes, it's going to feel like fans have to wait centuries until 2019 comes to pass and we get the next installment of Eleven and the gang's adventures. But given how fantastic each season has been so far, giving the brothers extra time to refine the scripts can only be a good thing.