Now that Stranger Things Season 2 has been unleashed onto the world, it's time to start thinking about Stranger Things Season 3. Series creators the Duffer Brothers confirmed that Netflix greenlit a third season of the series, and they're hopeful for a fourth, though it's up in the air. So far, there hasn't been a formal announcement as to when Stranger Things Season 3 will premiere, but, currently, the best guess is that fans will be able to enjoy the new season in time for Christmas 2018.
Christmas 2018 would be a marketing gimmick, sure, but for a good reason: it's a successful one. "Christmas" is easy to remember, but it's also vague. The term "Christmas" doesn't necessarily mean Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In terms of marketing, suggesting a Christmas release generally implies a three week window surrounding the actual holiday. (The Last Jedi, for instance, is slated for a "Christmas" release, but its actual premiere date is Dec. 15.) When Stranger Things Season 1 was released over Summer 2016, Netflix had no way of knowing it would blow up the way it did. So, announcing Season 2 for Oct. 27 was the perfect call, because Stranger Things is fun and spooky and a little B-movie-esque; it fits into Halloween better than Chief Hopper fits into his uniform.
Furthermore, a Christmas release would help direct the marketing. Think about how impactful Joyce Byers' Christmas lights have been on pop culture in the last year. Now imagine Netflix marketing Stranger Things Season 3 for Christmas. They could count down to a trailer release on Halloween, crank out another at Thanksgiving, and, a week or so before December holidays kick off, boom, right in the sweet spot. Considering Season 1 premiered over the summer, and Season 2 in the fall, a winter arrival for Stranger Things Season 3 would follow a trend.
Since the creators hope to conclude the series before the stars are college-aged, they'll need to stick to a tight filming schedule. And that might not be as easy as it sounds. As their young actors' stars rise, they'll likely take on additional projects that would keep them away from Stranger Things. Actors Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) or Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) might tour with their bands. Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) has been a bonafide movie star for three decades. Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Anderson) is already doing commercials, and it's only a matter of time before Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) moves to Broadway. Also, the kids might just want to go to school like regular people.
This is all hypothetical, of course, but is important to take into account when considering a Stranger Things Season 3 release date.
To keep the series' momentum going, it's highly unlikely that the show will take a two year hiatus between Season 2 and Season 3. Yes, AMC's Mad Men and Breaking Bad had sizable gaps in their filming, and Netflix's own Master of None tapes around Aziz Ansari's life experiences and schedule. But those are all shows about adult men. Stranger Things is, by and large, a show about young people. And young people age quickly. The more time that passes in between seasons, the more jarring the following season will be.
So, let's call this right here and now: Stranger Things Season 3 will likely be headed our way by next Christmas, while the cast of children are still young and to continue the seasonal pattern of the first two seasons. Settle in to enjoy Season 2, and try not to cry over the wait. The third season could be here before you know it.