'Stranger Things' Season 4 May Have Actually Been Helped By The Coronavirus Production Delay

Like many film and television productions that were meant to film earlier this year, Stranger Things season 4 was delayed significantly. Though this has created many hurdles for studios and networks, in some cases, the delay is actually helping creators refine these projects so that they might turn out better than they otherwise would have under a more strict timetable. Executive producer and director Shawn Levy says Stranger Things season 4 was fortunate enough to benefit from the delay and the results could benefit the fans in a big way.

Speaking with Collider in support of the upcoming Netflix holiday series Dash & Lily, Shawn Levy discussed how the pandemic had an impact on the next season of Stranger Things. In a rare instance of the pandemic making something good happen, Levy explained:

"I'll just say the pandemic definitely massively delayed shooting and therefore the launch of our current Season 4, date still TBD. But it impacted very positively by allowing the Duffer brothers, for the first time ever, to write the entire season before we shoot it and to have time to rewrite in a way that they rarely had before so the quality of these screenplays are exceptional, maybe better than ever."

It's crazy to me that studios and networks are so willing to sacrifice potential quality in favor of meeting a timeline that they establish themselves. Why can't Matt & Ross Duffer always have enough time to get the scripts in the right shape before production begins? Sure, it might help to have a deadline to light a fire under the writers' asses so they're not just spending endless time refining the script. But why not have a little flexibility so creative decisions don't have to be made when there's already pressure from being in production at the same time?

As of now, we don't know much about the story at the center of Stranger Things season 4, but we know that David Harbour will be back as Hopper. That was a secret Netflix knew they couldn't keep, and Harbour has compared it to the return of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The actor also said the fourth season was intended to arrive early next year, but that's likely been pushed back significantly due to the long production delay.

One interesting detail that recently surfaced from the set of Stranger Things season 4 is the appearance of a new character played by Levon Thurman-Hawke, the brother of Stranger Things season 3 newcomer Maya Hawke. The new character is a kid who is clearly into the punk lifestyle, and he's been seen at a video store with some of the other Stranger Things characters. Maybe he's playing the brother to Maya Hawke's Robin.

Even though we don't know when Stranger Things season 4 will premiere now, we do know that the first episode is called "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club." We'll have to be patient as we wait to find out more.