‘Stranger Things’ Season 2: Duffer Brothers Interview on ’80s References and the Halloween Theme

Stranger Things Season 2
Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp in ‘Stranger Things’ season 2 (Photo by Jackson Lee Davis / Netflix/)

Netflix’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Stranger Things returns for a second season on October 27, 2017 and in support of the show’s upcoming season, the cast and series creators/writers/directors Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer participated in a panel at the San Diego Comic Con. In addition to attempting a spoiler-free discussion with fans in a jam-packed hall at the San Diego Convention Center, the cast and the Duffer brothers hit the red carpet to talk about what’s in store when season two is available for a weekend of binge-watching this October.

Where does season two pick up?

Ross Duffer: “It’s about a year later.”

Matt Duffer: “A few days before Halloween.”

Ross Duffer: “Right before Halloween. You know, our characters are trying to go about their lives trying to pretend everything’s normal when of course it’s not. They had this very traumatic experience and we start to see how that continues to affect them moving forward.”

When you picked Halloween to start, was Netflix on board with having you premiere in October?

Matt Duffer: “Well, we looked at the date, like when could we realistically finish this? There was going to be a lot of visual effects. We know the speed at which we tend to work and write. It looked like we could realistically finish around Halloween. That seemed like a real date. And then we thought that’s great, we’ll set it around Halloween and make it kind of a thematic thing. I think Halloween is perfect for the show. I love Halloween. We got to dress all of our kids up. We had to decide what that was. Very quickly we thought they’ve got to all be Ghostbusters.”

You must have had a lot of ‘80s references you couldn’t fit into the first season. How many of those did you get into the second?

Ross Duffer: “It’s hard. When we’re breaking it we’re not like, ‘What can we reference this scene?’ It’s more like capturing the spirit of what those movies made us feel like when we were growing up. But, listen, ’84 which is when this takes place was a great year. A lot of great movies came out, whether it’s Ghostbusters or Temple of Doom or Karate Kid or Gremlins, so you’ll see some of that. Obviously, Ghostbusters but some of the other stuff plays a role in this season.”

Does it really scratch an itch to be able to write these ‘80s references into the show and have your production designers find them and build them?

Matt Duffer: “It is scratching a lot of itches. I mean, it was like last year we got our bike chase out of the way. This year we’ve got a big supernatural Close Encounters storm. So, we’re getting to do this stuff. It’s a lot of fun.”

Do these kids want to have another adventure?

Matt Duffer: “At this point, no. In the story, no, they’re not looking for another adventure. At this point they want to just be regular kids.”

Ross Duffer: “They want to play Dungeons and Dragons and whatever, watch movies and have a normal childhood. But, of course, that’s not the case.”

So when something happens again, how doubly traumatic is that?

Matt Duffer: “Doubly traumatic.”

Ross Duffer: “By the end of this, they’re going to be really messed up.”

Matt Duffer: “Yeah. It’s not like it was fun and games last year. It gets very scary and very real, quickly.”

In a way are they better equipped for this adventure because they know what’s possible?

Matt Duffer: “Yes, they are better equipped. That’s right. Which is good because it’s a lot more dangerous, what they’re up against.”

Watch the full Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer Stranger Things interview: