Without saying much else, the Duffer Brothers concluded the first season of their 80s-sci-fi-homage-collage Netflix series Stranger Things in such a way that the story wouldn’t feel at all incomplete if it were to never return. They left the same amount open as most movies, likely in part because it wasn’t known if this would end up being a limited series (Netflix picked it up initially for an 8-episode series, all of which is available on the streaming service) or something longer-form. However, after enthusiastic reactions from viewers and critics alike, I’d be surprised if the show didn’t get renewed. (Though there’s been no official news at all). The Duffer Brothers are already being asked what’d come next if it did return — and they seem to have some vague ideas of what they’d want from a continued version of this story.
[Beware, some light spoilers for Stranger Things Season 1 below]
For those of you who’ve seen the first season, you know that the realm that’s been opened up is called “The Upside Down” — a barren, unpopulated wasteland that underlies our own world and shares its geography. (And even its architecture, if not its individuals — as the only individual present is a monster who looks like a combination of a body builder, a tropical plant, and anal prolapse.)
The series follows the members of an Indiana town in the aftermath of the disappearance of a young boy into The Upside Down, with Winona Ryder playing his mother and a shockingly talented group of young actors playing his best friends who go in search of him, with the help of Eleven, a telekinetic/clairvoyant girl. And in a recent interview with Variety, the Duffer Brothers discussed how this story might continue, and how the underworld they established might be expanded.
They first mentioned that they’d decided that not everything they’d conceived about the Upside Down would be revealed — and that they’d written up a 30 page document that Ross Duffer described as “pretty intricate in terms of what it all means, and where this monster actually came from, and why aren’t there more monsters.” He continued, “We have all this stuff that we just didn’t have time for, or we didn’t feel like we needed to get into in season one, because of the main tension of Will [the boy who goes missing]. We have that whole other world that we haven’t fully explored in this season…” When then asked what that means for a potential Season 2, Ross says:
We leave these dangling threads at the end. If people respond to this show and we get to continue this story — we had those initial discussions of where we might go with it. If there was going to be a season two, we would reveal more of that 30 page document, but we’d still want to keep it from the point of view of our original characters.
[Beware, this is where the one heavy spoiler comes in]
Finally, at the end of the season, Eleven — a sort of weaponized Matilda played by the excellent Millie Bobby Brown — disappears after overexerting herself. But there’s a hint that she’s not gone for good, when Chief Hopper (the detective who’d been investigating Will’s disappearance) places her favorite food in a basket in the woods. Matt Duffer teased where this could go in Season 2, saying, “Have there been sightings [of her] in the woods or is he hoping she’s out there or has he already made contact with her? We don’t answer any of that, but we like the idea of potentially putting her and Hopper together.”