The buildup to the October 27th premiere of Stranger Things 2 is fraught with questions and mystery and, according to show director Shawn Levy, very high expectations.
"It's definitely daunting," he told Entertainment Weekly. "The love for this show is so rabid."
According to show creators Matt and Ross Duffer, their hope is to posit the return of the hit Netflix series as a sequel versus a second season. "When we started describing it as a sequel, Netflix was like, 'Don't do that, because sequels are known to be bad,'" Matt said. "I was like, 'Yes, but what about T2 and Aliens and Toy Story 2 and Godfather II?'"
The new season will see the return of the first season's beloved core characters, including Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will Byers (Noah Schnapps), as well as Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Jim Hopper (David Harbour).
Stranger Things 2 will feature several disparate storylines that all revolve around something called the "shadow monster," a nickname given to a giant creature Will first meets in PTSD-like visions of the Upside Down. (Most of season one was dedicated to a narrative of finding a vanished Will and defeating a demogorgon).
Though the Stranger Things 2 team can't reveal too many details about the upcoming season, Entertainment Weekly reports that the second season will feature new characters, like Bob (Lord of the Rings and Goonies alum Sean Astin), a love interest for Ryder's character Joyce, as well as some intense action sequences.
"Each episode is building on the last one," Matt said. "It gets much crazier than it ever got in season one."
"The good news is that a lot of what we wanted to see or what we responded to, that seems to be what the audience responded to," he continued. "Like, we fell in love with Gaten, and there were aspects, like Barb, we were already planning to deal with. It felt like there was a nice alignment between what we wanted to see and what other people wanted to see."