Amidst the laughs and challenges, Sean Levy admits to his struggles on the set of his never-ending drama Stranger Things.
“In Hawkins, Indiana, time is unforgiving. And I’m not talking about that monster-filled parallel dimension, but about the real world, where the protagonists of Stranger Things are fighting a very different battle: the constant progression of years. In a recent interview with Wired, the show’s director and executive producer Shawn Levy revealed the challenge of stopping production on the fifth season.
Like a pressure cooker, the Stranger Things set awaits as the SAG-AFTRA strike continues, as actors fight for fair pay. “These damn kids, there’s no way they’re going to slow down the aging process,” Levy joked about the cast’s age in an expression that could easily have been taken from the series’ script. And since the first episode came to life eight years ago, the temporal gap between actors and characters has grown wider.
The race against time is coming to an end
The irony in which the director pleads with his stars to defy nature is reminiscent of those sci-fi plots. While the series is still in limbo, Levy said, “I asked them to stop aging, but the artificial intelligence still can’t do it.” A comedy that reflects a sincere concern for the reality of the series that has captivated millions.
Mike, Eleven and Will, the Upside Down kids, aren’t kids anymore. Their true counterparts, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp, are already 20 years old, while their characters are only 15 years old, the last season left them in March 1986, and if the prediction fails, we can see a jump. In a period of up to three years to combine fiction and reality.
The age dilemma doesn’t just apply to the film’s youngest members. Joe Carey (Steve), Natalia Dyer (Nancy) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) face similar odds, although in their cases at least, makeup and costumes may be more effective partners.
Time in Stranger Things is the most formidable enemy ever. We’re not talking about the demogorgon being defeated at the end of the episode. Here, every minute counts, and every production delay can mean a drastic change in how fans perceive their favorite characters.
Meanwhile, fans have one eye on the calendar and the other on the news, eager to return to Hawkins’ adventures, hoping that the next season will not only bring closure to the story, but also some meaning. They grew up in front of our screens. What is clear is that the new season will arrive in 2024, but we still don’t have a clear framework for when we can see the end of this great series.
In the game strategy of Stranger Things, the product may take a more significant jump in time, but it always respects the DNA of the eighties that defines the series. Ultimately, the show must go on, even if reality pushes its own plot twists.
The fifth season of Stranger Things promises to be a great finale, and while the negotiations at the SAG-AFTRA table are a project of hope, Shawn Levy and his team are up for the challenge: tell a story that ages hard, but whose adventurous spirit lives on forever.