Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 3. Though the show has yet to be officially renewed, there are already plenty of details about Stranger Things 4 — yes, even though Season 3 was only just released. Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer have confirmed in multiple interviews that they're planning at least four seasons, and considering Stranger Things is a huge hit for Netflix, it's just a matter of time until an announcement is made. In fact, they've already started laying the groundwork.
Whereas Stranger Things 2 ended with the romantic Snow Ball, Stranger Things 3 closed out with the devastating death of Jim Hopper and the Byers' move out of town, and the tone will shift once again in Season 4. "Season 2 was a dark season with a fairy tale ending. We thought we'd flip that on its head and have our 'fun' season end on our darkest note yet," Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer told Vanity Fair via email. "We just think it's an interesting pivot, and pushes the story in exciting new directions. ... At the same time, it also needs to crack open the door for an exciting — and tonally different — follow-up chapter."
Ross shared a similar sentiment to Entertainment Weekly. "We're pretty excited about where it's potentially going to go," he said. "Again, like we said, it's going to feel very different than this season. But I think that's the right thing to do and I think it'll be exciting."
Besides that "different" feel, here are some other official-ish details about Stranger Things 4.
...But The Town Won't Be Forgotten
Lest you worry that the show will forget all about Hawkins with the Byers gone and the Russia plot, the Duffers told Vanity Fair, "The story of Hawkins is not quite finished!" when discussing the potential for more seasons.
The American's Identity Will Be Key
The end credits scene hinted at an American being held prisoner in Kamchatka, Russia. Whether you think that "the American" is Hopper, Dr. Brenner, or a different character entirely, it will play a huge part in Stranger Things 4. "We want the post-credit scene to spark debate!" the Duffers brothers told Vanity Fair. "Hopefully it raises a lot of questions, and the answers to those questions will define a potential Season 4."
Also, Matt warned fans against thinking that they have the American's identity all figured out to EW. "You definitely should not assume anything," he said.
And So Will The Russians' Plan For The Demogorgon
The mysterious American wasn't the only thing that the post-credits scene teased. "Assuming there's a Season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they're doing with the Demogorgon is a tease," Ross told EW. "That's obviously going to play a huge role in a potential Season 4." So a return to Russia to see what the Soviets are doing with their captive Demogorgon should definitely be in the cards.
The Kids Will Be Vulnerable Without Eleven's Powers
By the end of Stranger Things 3, Eleven doesn't have her powers anymore. Not only is that convenient for keeping the mystery of Hopper's fate alive, but it also means that the beloved D&D crew won't have their strongest force against the Upside Down. "Moving into Season 4, how much more vulnerable does that make our characters in a group?" Ross told EW about Eleven' losing her abilities. "Inevitably, evil resurfaces that they can't just lean on Eleven to come in and save the day. We think it ups the scare factor in a big way."
Billy Is Definitely Dead
Unlike Hopper, there's no reason to speculate about whether you'll see Billy in Stranger Things 4. Dacre Montgomery spoke to The New York Times about how his character was always intended to die. "We constructed it this way from the beginning. I knew coming in that this was going to be the outcome," he said. "And I don't think I would have been given the season that Billy had if I wasn't dying — I think because I was on my way out, I was given an amazing opportunity to do a wide array of things. I'm very grateful." But hey, that doesn't mean you won't see Billy in a flashback.
Everything Introduced At The End Of 'Stranger Things 3' Will Be Addressed
Executive producer Shawn Levy also contributed a bit of intel on what could happen in a potential fourth season to EW. "Certainly Season 3 ends with several plot strands that are separate from each other," Levy said. "And should there be a Season 4, I think we'll see them all explored."
With all this being said, we still don't know too many specifics about what could actually happen in the future season. But the major takeaway that fans should focus on is that no matter what, Stranger Things 4 seems guaranteed — and it sounds bigger and more dangerous than ever.