On the Fourth of July of 2019, you might not want to take part in the usual outdoor festivities celebrating the holiday, because that day the third season of Stranger Things drops on Netflix. So, if you have air conditioning or a strong fan and a Netflix account, your Independence Day might very well look different from all the years before, especially after you see the new Stranger Things 3 poster, which might confirm a monster theory. Going into its third season, the series seems scarier than ever. The new poster has a ton of hints for what's to come, besides a menacing monster from the Upside Down, including an image of Billy (Dacre Montgomery) possibly being foreshadowed as an even more threatening villain.
The monster that appears in the poster doesn't look like a Demogorgon but rather a smaller version of the Mind Flayer, and with more prominent fangs. In Stranger Things 2, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) closed the gate to the Upside Down, but both the new illustrated poster and the most recent trailer for Season 3 prove that Hawkins, Indiana, is far from safe from the lecherous monsters from below.
While the giant monster on the new illustrated poster serves as the most attention-grabbing aspect, it's hard not to notice that the image of Billy, standing underneath one of the monster's legs. The placement and the eery blue shading might just confirm the theory that Billy will turn into one of the Upside Down's monsters in Season 3.
In the essence of a true college-style close reading of the graphic, which Netflix released on Tuesday, June 4, you'll note that Billy is the only character who appears underneath the monster's arm. That is, he's underneath it along with a bunch of dead rats, a motif that has consistently appeared throughout much of Netflix's inscrutable previews for Season 3. That Billy is underneath the monster seems to suggest that he's beneath everyone else, or somehow taken over by the vicious being.
The trailer's flashing image of Billy finding a red spot that looks like a monster's bite could have been a hallucination, which IGN previously theorized, but the way this new poster singles him out in the glowing black-and-blue light at least confirms that Max's (Sadie Sink) step-brother will have a major part in the next season. That seems to have been the Duffer brothers' plan all along, as a 2017 Vulture interview with the Stranger Things' co-creators revealed that Billy was meant to have a bigger role in Season 2.
"We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for Season 3 than anything," Matt Duffer said of why they pared down the bully's Season 2 part.
It sounds like Season 3 of Stranger Things will be just as packed with excitement as Season 2, based on the teasers and trailers, it seems that Hawkins' new Starcourt Mall, where Steve (Joe Keery) works, stirs up the whole community and provides new opportunities for Eleven and the gang to find trouble.
Netflix has also teased that Season 3 will test the group of friends in new ways, too. The streaming site teases the new season in a press release obtained by Bustle with the description that reads, "The Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart."
Aside from Billy appearing off to the side, the new poster shows all of the main characters forming a united front, so that might tease that the kids are alright. That one guy with the gun still remains a total mystery, though.