Netflix’s Stranger Things has become one of the biggest shows around. Set in the 1980s, the series explores the supernatural occurrences happening in a small town and the young heroes who are always in the middle of it. Part of what makes the series so enjoyable is the nostalgic feel which pays homage to Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, and 80s pop culture in general.
While fans are hooked to the show, there are still plenty of behind-the-scenes facts that most people don’t know. From the creation of the story to the casting to the filming locations, there is a lot that went into making Stranger Things the massive phenomenon it is today.
10 It Is Filmed In Georgia
For Stranger Things show creators, it all came down to finding the right town to serve as the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Originally, the Duffer Brothers who created the show envisioned Hawkins as a seaside town and hoped to shoot in Long Island. However, given that they would be shooting in November, the weather would not have been suitable.
Production began scouting in areas of Georgia before they settled on the town of Jackson. The Duffers said it reminded them of their own childhood town. Various locations in Georgia serve as pivotal locations for the show including the Hawkins National Laboratory and the school.
9 The Duffer’s Originally Wanted To Remake Stephen King’s It
The series clearly owes a lot to the writing of Stephen King. Many people have pointed out the similarities between Stranger Things and King’s novel It. As it turns out there is a good reason for that as the Duffers originally wanted to remake King’s horror classic about a group of kids that take on an evil alien clown.
The studio didn’t think the filmmakers were established enough to take on the property, so they were turned down. Instead, the Duffers decided to make a similar story of kids taking on a supernatural threat. Funny enough, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard ended up starring in the eventual It remake.
8 The Starcourt Mall
A key setting for the third season of the show was the Hawkins’ Starcourt Mall. The bright, vibrant mall feels like the perfect 80s location for so much of the action in the show. Amazingly, this is not a set built for the show but an actual real mall.
The real mall was just outside Atlanta, Georgia, and had been largely been abandoned. The production team then moved in and rebuilt dozens of storefronts to make it look like a mall that would be functioning in the 80s.
7 The Score
One great aspect of the film is the unforgettable score. The synthesizer music really sets the tone for the series with its modern feel mixed with a nostalgic sound as well.
The music comes from a band called Survive who the Duffers discovered when their music was featured in the underrated thriller The Guest in 2014. The band went on to create over 13 hours of the music that they say was inspired by some of the iconic scores of John Carpenter.
6 Nancy & Jonathan’s Real-Life Romance
Along with all the action and horror, romance has always been an important part of this show, especially with the young characters. One of the favorite relationships on the show is between Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers.
Though they started out as a flirtatious friendship, by season 2, they had admitted their feelings for each other. Actors Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton who play the roles got together before their characters and have been dating since the show’s first season.
5 Changing Voices Caused A Problem
The four young actors who play the main boys in the first season proved to be perfect casting for the show. However, even by season 2, it became clear that the actors were aging quite quickly and were perhaps not going to be believable as kids for much longer.
When it came time to do additional dialogue recording for the show’s first season, Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, had such a different sounding voice that he was unable to be used.
4 Gaten Matarazzo’s Real Medical Condition
Dustin is certainly one of the most beloved characters on the show and a lot of that is thanks to Gaten Matarazzo’s wonderful performance. He was actually the first actor to be cast in the series and the part was shaped around him.
Just like his character on the show, Matarazzo has a real medical condition called cleidocranial dysplasia. The rare bone disorder affects the development of teeth and bones. The show’s creators decided to incorporate it into the character with Matarazzo’s blessing.
3 Inspiration For Hopper
Perhaps the most popular character on the show is Jim Hopper, the heroic but grumpy sheriff of Hawkins. A lot of people have compared Hopper to Indiana Jones, especially with his ever-present hat in the first two seasons. However, there is another Spielberg character who heavily influenced Hopper.
As is clear by the name, Hopper is a homage to Sheriff Hooper from Jaws. The show even matches the Hawkins police uniforms to the one Hooper wears in that film.
2 Millie Bobby Brown’s Shaved Head
The clear breakout star of the series has been Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven. This tough-as-nails young girl was the result of government experimentation which gifted her with amazing powers which she uses to save the day.
When Brown was cast in the role, one of the requirements that worried her was shaving her head. However, the Duffers eventually convinced her to go through with it by showing her pictures of Charlize Theron as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road which proved to Brown how cool she would look.
1 Delayed Season 4
The end of season 3 teased a twist that immediately got fans excited about the next season. Not long after, Season 4 dropped a teaser that confirmed Hopper is alive and a prisoner of the Russians.
As hinted at the end of season 3, it seems that at least a large portion of the new season would take place outside of Hawkins. The first episode of the season was confirmed to be called “The Hellfire Club” and production began in February 2020. However, by March, the COVID-19 pandemic forced filming to be halted. It’s unclear what the delay will mean for the previous plans for the season.