After a worldwide search that featured thousands of young actors, Netflix has locked the young ensemble cast for its upcoming supernatural period drama series written and directed by young genre filmmakers Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (Wayward Pines) and executive produced by Shawn Levy. The series, which will be titled Stranger Things, has cast Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton, who will join adult leads Winona Ryder and David Harbour. The eight-episode series, previously known as Montauk, will debut in 2016.
Described as a love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1980 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.
Finn Wolfhard co-stars as Mike, a bullied 12-year-old who becomes an unlikely hero in the quest to save his best friend. His credits include a guest stint on The 100, and the indies Aftermath and The Resurrection.
Millie Brown, best known for her role on BBC’s Intruders, portrays a mysterious character that Mike meets in the woods, who possesses strange abilities. She also appeared as Alice in Once Upon A Time and on NCIS.
Gaten Matarazzo is Dustin, a 12-year-old who marches to the beat of his own drum and whose sense of humor helps defuse tense situations in the series. Matarazzo recently finished a one-year stint in the revival of Les Miserables, and also appeared on Broadway with Priscilla Queen of the Desert. He also guest starred on NBC’s The Blacklist.
Caleb McLaughlin stars as Lucas, an opinionated friend of Mike’s, who possesses a fierceness and courage the other boys lack. McLaughlin recently wrapped The Painted Rocks At Revolver Creek by Athol Fugard at the Signature Theater. From 2012-2014 he played “Young Simba” in The Lion King on Broadway.
Noah Schnapp portrays Will, a small and sensitive boy who doesn’t fit into the 1980’s definition of normal. He vanishes into thin air. Schnapp will be appearing in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies, opposite Tom Hanks and Amy Ryan, as the voice of Charlie Brown in the upcoming The Peanuts Movie, and the upcoming film, We Only Know So Much.
Natalia Dyer portrays Nancy, Mike’s teenage, older sister. Dyer was a lead in the coming-of-age drama I Believe In Unicorns. She recently completed filming the sci-fi drama After Darkness and landed a supporting role in indie Long Nights, Short Mornings.
Charlie Heaton portrays Jonathan, Will’s older teenage brother. Charlie can next be seen in Europacorp’s Shut In For Farren Blackburn. He recently wrapped production Urban And The Shed Crew and is currently in pre-production on the independent feature As A Friend.
Ryder plays Joyce, a working class single mother reeling from the disappearance of her 12-year-old son, and Harbour plays the town’s chief of police.
The Duffer Brothers are writing, directing and co-showrunning the series, and will serve as executive producers along with co-showrunner Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen via their 21 Laps entertainment banner.