When talking about the inherently darker fourth season, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard compares the series’ ever-evolving maturity to Harry Potter.
Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard compares the darker season 4 to the evolution of the Harry Potter franchise as it matured with its cast and audience. Matt and Ross Duffer’s hit Netflix series premiered back in 2016, introducing audiences to telekinetic teenager Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). Her incredible origins draw the inhabitants of Hawkins, Indiana into a government conspiracy and, in turn, the Upside Down. In addition to Eleven, Stranger Things’ cast of characters includes Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Erica (Priah Ferguson), Max (Sadie Sink), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Steve (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke), Jim Hopper (David Harbour), and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder).
Stranger Things’ success is thanks in large part to its nostalgic tone, which harkens back to major 80s classics like The Goonies, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Being set in 1983, season 1 finds its younger characters in middle school, and Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve in high school. The latter group has since graduated and the former is about to be freshmen by the end of season 3. Taking place months after Eleven and the Byers clan moved away from Hawkins, Stranger Things season 4 is set during spring break in 1986. Stranger Things is very much a coming-of-age story, following a group of growing teens as they combat other-worldly problems—something that can also be said about the Harry Potter franchise.
During Screen Rant’s virtual Stranger Things set visit last year, Finn Wolfhard spoke about the highly-anticipated season 4 in a group interview. Describing the show’s increasingly mature tone, the now 19-year-old actor compared Stranger Things to Harry Potter. Read the full quote below:
“I think inherently it becomes darker every season. It also gets funnier, it gets scarier, it gets more dramatic. That comes with all of us growing up and getting older. We’re not all going to be in mop-top wigs, 40 years old, and screaming about Demogorgons. I think this is a very good example of the Duffers treating our characters like their ages. And I like to compare it to Harry Potter – those movies became darker [the longer they went] and that’s kind of where we’re at now in the progression, in my opinion.”
With a production schedule spanning a decade, the Harry Potter films are a prime example of a franchise that was allowed to expand and mature with its cast, characters, and audiences. While Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and its two subsequent follow-ups happily operated under a PG rating, 2005’s The Goblet of Fire and its sequels were more comfortable with PG-13—excluding The Half-Blood Prince. Stranger Things has been rated TV-14 from the jump. However, each season has become more disturbing, with increased violence and swearing as the cast’s voices cracked.
Stranger Things season 3 premiered in 2019, while production for season 4 began in early 2020 before facing months of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulk of the teenage cast are now adults playing high-school characters dealing with more than just the drama associated with hormonal adolescents. On top of Russians conducting experiments and the Upside Down, the latest Stranger Things season 4 trailer offers a tease of a new Freddy Kruger-esque villain named Vecna, whose name is inspired by the legendary Dungeons & Dragons villain. Season 4 is being touted as “the beginning of the end” for Stranger Things because the series will end with season 5. If there’s anything audiences have learned from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the Netflix series should only get darker in its final stretch.
More: Stranger Things Season 4’s Russia Tease Hints At Justice For Alexei’s Death
Stranger Things season 4, part 1 premieres Friday, May 27 on Netflix.
Source: Stranger Things set visit
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