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It has been a long, excruciating wait for Stranger Things season 5 to begin filming, especially considering that both volumes of season 4 dropped on Netflix back in summer 2022. After the way Vol. 2 ended, with the Upside Down making its way to the real world, fans have been eager to find out what happens next. But we are finally on the verge of seeing a return to Hawkins and finding out the fates of all our favorite characters.

There’s been so much excitement, that in fact, there is some confusion about when Stranger Things season 5 starts filming. At least that seems to be the sentiment making the rounds on the internet. I have some new information from my sources to help clarify the situation. Sit tight, Stranger Things fans, they’re starting to film soon, but maybe not as soon as you’d like.

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington and Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, and Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things. (Netflix)

Stranger Things season 5 starts filming in January

According to my sources, Stranger Things season 5 is expected to begin principal photography on January 8, 2024. Yes, yes I know… David Harbour recently said he was going back to work much sooner than that. But there is still some prep work to be done with the actors, such as costume fittings and read-throughs, all of which need to happen before the official start of filming (principal photography) of season 5 can actually begin.

That may seem like a long way away, but the returning series, even those that were on the cusp of filming when strikes began, still need some prep time before they resume filming. And of course, we have the Holiday season coming up soon, a period when many productions shut down production.

But fear not! Things, not so strangely, are definitely ramping up for the production of Stranger Things’ fifth season. I was informed that sets are built and much of the other prep work has been done. While it is certainly possible that they can move filming up and begin sooner, as of right now the principal photography start date is still set for January 8th.

This lines up with a recent report from Deadline which indicated that filming would start in a couple of weeks now that the writers’ and actors’ strikes have ended.

“The pressure on streaming series to start production right away is not as big, but with the pipeline thinning out, there is a push to ramp up flagship series like Stranger Things, which was about to start filming its final season when the WGA strike started, putting production on hold. I hear the Netflix juggernaut is expected to start filming its final season in a couple of weeks.” (via Deadline November 8, 2023 )

stranger-things-4-vecna
Vecna in Stranger Things (Netflix)

It’s exciting to know that we’re closer to getting the conclusion to Netflix’s wildly popular series, even if it feels like it can’t come soon enough. But we can confirm that things are heating up behind the scenes, as many working on the series are ready and eager to get back to Hawkins and the Upside Down. Speaking of those involved in Stranger Things, a certain actor has shared some updates of his own about the next season.

David Harbour and other Stranger Things cast arriving in Georgia this week

As I mentioned, a few days ago David Harbour appeared to be teasing that he’d be going back to Georgia very soon to start on Stranger Things 5. I have also been told that much of the cast is expected to arrive in Georgia sometime this week.  

“I’m gonna just make a bold statement,” Harbour began. “Each year, it feels like the show’s getting bigger and bigger and more exciting. And we have a real responsibility to knock it out of the park in the final season. So if we don’t, give me all of your fan rage. Write the petitions. Go ahead, do it. Because I’m going down there next week to start and I’m going to pour my whole heart into this thing. I’ve read some of the scripts and in my mind, they’re stunningly beautiful. It’s time. We’re going to knock it out of the park. We’re going to deliver you the finale that you need, that you want, that I want.” (via Comicbook.com).

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Eduardo Franco as Argyle in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Eduardo Franco as Argyle in Stranger Things. (Netflix)

Harbour also recently mentioned filming will shoot for about a year. I have heard it will take slightly over a year from my sources, as well.

“There will be a little bit of a push difference, but ‘Stranger Things 5′ will shoot for a year. So ‘Thunderbolts’ will have to live somewhere within that, but the whole thing is crazy speculation at this point.” – David Harbour (via The Direct)

The Direct author Klein Felt goes on to predict that season 5 should have a projected release date of Summer or Fall of 2025 based on that information. That seems to make a lot of sense with when production begins and the length of time they’ll be filming. Factor in post-production work, the Summer or Fall of 2025 seems like the earliest we could receive some episodes. It’s also quite possible we end up with a split season like season 4, depending on how long post-production will require, and Netflix’s desire for one of his tentpole series to return.

More recently at Motor City Comic Con, David Harbour spoke about season 5, indicating that it will have a “real ending. Stranger Things will end in a very real way.” He touched on how from season one to now, the story is a complete chapter of the shenanigans in Hawkins, although states that Netflix might explore different periods in the city’s history and the larger universe as a whole. Check out the video from @sapphicjopper who was at MCCC and caught his comment on camera!

While you’re waiting for Stranger Things season 5…

While we still have a bit of time before Stranger Things season 5 returns to our screens, it’s exciting to know that the series will be returning to production and filming soon. In the meantime, Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix, with no release date yet for season 5.

Are you excited to find out what happens next to the Hawkins gang? Do you like to track when and where they’re filming? Let us know your thoughts on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord! 

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Lizzie Hill

I'm a lifelong fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies. In July 2021, I launched The Cosmic Circus as Editor-In-Chief with a small but passionate group of writers. @MsLizzieHill on Twitter and Instagram.

Lizzie Hill has 87 posts and counting. See all posts by Lizzie Hill