Netflix hasn’t officially renewed its supernatural drama series Stranger Things, but given the critical acclaim and massive online buzz the show has received since its July 15 premiere, a second season seems like a lock. Alas, much like Ted Sarandos ealier in the afternoon, series co-creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer were largely mum on whether or not it will return as they met with critics during the show’s TCA Summer Tour panel discussion at the Beverly Hilton. But they did explain how they approached their show to make a second outing possible while still resolving the first season’s storyline.
“We wanted it to feel like a big movie, so we wanted to resolve the tension of where Will went, and what happened to him,” said Matt Duffer. “So, we wanted to solve that so the story would feel very much complete in that sense.” But, he said, “there’s a bigger mythology behind what happened, there’s definitely some dangling threads at the end, it’s open-ended so that if people want it, if Netflix wanted it, we could explore that and continue the storyline.”
Later in the discussion they continued on those lines, with Ross Duffer saying their approach was intended to make sure the audience is given enough to chew on without giving everything away. “It’s about giving enough that the audience feels satisfied,” he said, with co-star Winona Ryder, also attending the panel, adding that “people can have their own theories.”
The show is notable for being Ryder’s first foray into scripted television, something she says intimidated her at first. “What had initially scared me is you could only read [one episode at a time], you couldn’t read the whole thing.” However, she used that confusion for her character, letting her own uncertainty about where the story was going inform her performance. That performance has been widely praised; about that, Ryder said, “I’m incredibly humbled… and very grateful to [the Duffers].”
Along with the Duffer brothers and Ryder, young stars Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin were also on hand.
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