Stranger Things: Shorter Runtimes For Season 5, Writers Say

Following the conclusion of Stranger Things’ super-extended fourth season, the attention of the fans now turns toward the fifth and final run of the hit sci-fi series. Sadly, all great things have to come to an end, and if the Duffer Brothers can pull it off, the show could be set to end on a high note. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Matt and Ross Duffer discussed what was next for Stranger Things, with the discussion eventually turning to the runtime. 

The lengthy runtimes of the fourth season were a talking point – with the season finale clocking in at more than two and a half hours long, which is longer than a night out at the cinema watching a Marvel blockbuster. Matt said the duration of the runtime was “something of a surprise to us. Ross and I have been trying to analyze how they ended up that long, because the scripts aren’t even that long.”

Matt noted that the fourth chapter was “pretty dense” with the inclusion of Russia in Hopper, and the benefits of streaming meant the two brothers were “not beholden to advertisers in the way that television used to be. We don’t have to hit this specific 45-minute length, so it can be as short or as long as you want.” 

Ross highlighted their main problem in writing the fourth run – which came down to pacing. He said if they were able to hold the viewer’s attention for more than an hour, with most episodes maxing at seventy-five minutes, “that’s a win. We did discuss breaking up [the finale]. We ultimately decided if it’s too long for someone, they can pause it and they can come back. It’s like reading a book. You can watch it at your own pace.”

With Season 4 wrapped and the final home stretch in sight for the acclaimed sci-fi show, which first aired back in July 2016, Matt suggested that the run times wouldn’t be as “extreme” in Season 5. He added they were “trying to return to the simplicity of the structure in season one, with bigger scale and scope. Except for the finale, which I’m expecting will be pretty massive.” 

For more Stranger Things content, the writers shared a script online for an emotional scene between Mike and Will. 

Matt Bailey

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments