At long last, our national nightmare finally came to an end with news that Stranger Things would return for Season 2 (or rather, Stranger Things 2). Long before a 2017 premiere, however, producers tease a James Cameron upgrade in the vein of Terminator 2 and Aliens, as well new characters for the 1984 return.

Where previously we’d heard that Stranger Things would like “do the Harry Potter thing” with a slight time-jump, the Season 2 announcement confirmed that Stranger Things would move to fall of 1984, announcing the episode titles of all nine chapters in the process. Were there any doubt, executive producer Shawn Levy confirmed the nine flashes to The Hollywood Reporter as Season 2 episode titles:

All that said, co-creaters Matt and Ross Duffer spoke to Entertainment Weekly of a few Season 2 details, including that they’d opted against either an anthology approach, or picking up with the cast in a new decade, a la Stephen King’s It. No word on Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) returning just yet (TVLine says otherwise), but the Duffers at least confirmed a returning main cast, as well the intent to follow a certain ‘80s movie paradigm.

Specifically, where hits like James Cameron’s Alien and Terminator built their pedigree on small-scale, Matt says Stranger Things 2 would follow the Terminator 2 and Aliens lead with a more blockbuster approach:

I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different. There’s Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.

To wit, the Duffers teased an opening scene set outside of Hawkins, Indiana, while no less than four major new roles will be filled (Levy downplayed the notion of casting too many major names). So, why the upgrade to 9 episodes, above the first season’s 8? says Levy:

When we started talking for real about the ideas in season two, we couldn’t see a way to contain them in eight episodes. There’s some major stakes at play and we didn’t want to stretch things out just for the idea of doing 10 or 13, but we definitely couldn’t contain them to eight. So we like that it’s an escalation from season one, but we also like that it feels like a number of episodes to where we can maintain the quality of our storytelling.

There’s plenty more to discuss on the road to Season 2 (including our exclusive concept art explaining several unresolved mysteries), but will Stranger Things 2 make lightning strike twice?

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