By Nicole Lyn Pesce
“Stranger Things” fans are about to embark on their longest curiosity voyage yet. You could say the new season … goes to Eleven?
The fourth season of the hit Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -1.46% supernatural coming-of-age series steeped in nostalgia clocks in at roughly 13 hours across nine episodes, which is almost five hours longer than its previous three seasons ran. And the ninth and final episode of the season dropping over the Fourth of July weekend is a roughly feature-film-length 2½ hours long.
Tudum, the official Netflix companion site, released the episode breakdown and episode lengths before the first part, or “volume,” of Season 4 was released over Memorial Day weekend. “Volume 1” comprised the bulk of the season that sees the beleaguered Hawkins, Indiana gang squaring off against the Dungeons & Dragons -inspired demon, Vecna, with most of the seven episodes running for 75 minutes on average; although the seventh spanned a movie-length 98 minutes.
Now the final two episodes, composing “Volume 2,” have dropped in time for the Fourth of July weekend. Episode 8 runs 85 minutes long, followed by the 2½-hour season finale (specifically, 150 minutes.) Marvel’s feature film ”Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” was just over two hours long, in comparison.
“You’ll need to set plenty of time aside, for the final two episodes have a runtime of close to 4 hours in total,” writes the What’s On Netflix blog .
Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer explained in an open letter to fans in February that Season 4 would be “bigger than ever” with a runtime that’s almost twice the length of previous seasons.
They said it took more than 800 pages of scripts, thousands of visual-effects shots and almost two years of filming to create the fourth season, which will be the penultimate season of “Stranger Things.” People close to the show told the Wall Street Journal that the new season cost $30 million per episode .
“It’s also the beginning of the end,” the Duffer brothers added, revealing that the fifth season of “Stranger Things” would be its last.
“We hope you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down,” they wrote.
The “Stranger Things” buzz is better news than Netflix has seen of late. The company recently disclosed that it lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade , while revenue grew at its slowest pace. This is leading to plans for the streaming giant to start sprinkling in ads and charging for password sharing on its service for the first time.