When Stranger Things hit big in 2016, it was the beginning of one of Netflix’s monster titles, a show that has helped define the streaming service in the minds of many. A top-tier series like this on a broadcast network would have turned into the next Friends or Seinfeld, running 10 years, easy. But streaming services don’t hand out those renewals in that way. (Most shows are lucky to land three seasons, tops.) Instead, they run the show a few seasons, conclude them before they go too far off the rails, and then, sometimes, start spinoffs. So, will there be a Stranger Things spinoff? Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos hinted there are ideas in the works.
Spinoffs of popular titles have always been part of the television landscape, from The Jeffersons, which spun off of All In The Family, to Joey, the short-lived Friends follow-up. But streaming services, especially Netflix, have taken the idea to a new level. The Witcher, which has thus far only released one season, now has an animated movie, Night of the Wolf, and a prequel, Blood Origin, on the way, along with a second season. Bridgerton, likewise, already has a Queen Charlotte prequel in the works. Jupiter’s Legacy is skipping a second season and going straight to a new title from the same universe, Supercrooks.
And although nothing is officially confirmed, Sarandos suggested a Stranger Things spinoff is highly likely, according to Deadline. At the Code Conference in September, Sarandos spoke about the success of some major Netflix properties, including Stranger Things and Enola Holmes, both of which are among the top 10 most popular Netflix series and films in the streaming platform’s history, per Deadline. The common denominator between the two? Millie Bobby Brown.
The executive went on to say Stranger Things is “a franchise being born,” though he stayed mum on any details about the potential spinoff. But considering the popularity of Brown’s character Eleven, and the actor’s close relationship with Netflix, Deadline suggested a show with Brown as the lead isn’t out of reach.
The Stranger Things producers and showrunners, including Shawn Levy, have also been looking at their options for expanding the series, especially with rumors swirling that the series aims to end after Season 5.
Speaking to the press at a recent event, Levy confirmed that Netflix is very keen on the team coming up with spinoff ideas and putting them into production. “I’d say what’s been made clear is this is obviously a tentpole, arguably the tentpole franchise in the history of Netflix,” he said via Collider. “Obviously, certain other shows played key roles in their evolution, but Stranger Things with 196 million viewers over the time that we’ve been on the air, that’s a lot of households. And it’s unique in that Netflix service.”
But Levy cautioned that although the desire is there, those talks are still in preliminary stages. “What’s been made clear is there is an interest and a real voracious appetite for any offshoot, any other iteration format or extension of the franchise, the characters, the mythology,” Levy said. “And certainly those conversations are hardly evolved, but they’re also not non-existent.”
With the delayed Stranger Things Season 4 on track for a 2022 release, Netflix has yet to confirm that Season 5 is even greenlit, let alone that it’ll be the last season. But it seems like that if and when that comes to pass, it won’t be the end of strange things happening in Hawkins.
Stranger Things Season 1 through 3 are streaming on Netflix. Season 4 is confirmed for a 2022 release.