Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo says that season four gained an advantage during the forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That being that the showrunners and directors Matt and Ross Duffer were able to write the rest of the season before starting filming back up. In the past, they’ve always written the episodes while in the middle of filming.
“The goal was never to film before the show was finished being written, that’s just how it ended up happening the first three seasons. We have a certain number of episodes, around five or six out of eight or nine is usually what we’ll start filming with once those are written. And the goal is [The Duffer Brothers] will direct and [then] write at home. They’ll be home and that’s when they’ll write and manage their workload that way, and how it’s always worked out is we’re on like episode 4 or 5 and we haven’t seen episode 6 and 7 yet, and we have no idea what’s gonna happen and they haven’t written all of it yet. So the pressure is usually on and when that happens, usually there’s like a 2-3 week hiatus where we’ll go home and take a break and during that 2-3 weeks Matt and Ross are home and they are writing. Like non-stop, panic-writing.”
“That’s never ideal, but honestly for some reason that spur-of-the-moment, ‘we gotta get this done,’ it seems to me like that’s where a lot of their best work comes in. I don’t know if it’s the pressure, I don’t know if it’s them being up all night caffeinated and they just have really crazy frazzled brains that can write really weirdly.”
“This year, because of COVID, there’s no excuse for them not to have the [season] written completely. When we went in for our first table read which was February of 2020 we expected to go right into filming and it was gonna be the same situation, they were gonna start with episodes all the way up through 5 and we were probably gonna do the same hiatus, but COVID hit and we only had like six episodes and so they were like, ‘we might as well finish.’”
Matarazzo also went in on how this helped the actors:
“I think they’ve been able to relish in directing in their day-to-day. There’s nothing else distracting them other than what we’re gonna do today while we’re directing, and I asked them, ‘Do you guys sleep at night?’ they’re like, ‘Literally we dream about directing this show. We go to sleep and we have dreams that we’re just directing this show,’ it takes up their entire minds when they’re making this. So I think it’s a good thing because now they can take their focus off of what the show is going to be about, and now that they know it, they can focus on how they’re going to deliver. And I think it shows.”
How far along is season four’s filming? Matarazzo revealed:
“There’s very few dates that are reliable. It really is more of a guesstimation on when we’re gonna be filming next, when we’re gonna be wrapping up, when release is gonna be, all that jazz because we still don’t know on day-to-day if we’re gonna be filming next week. I should be filming like next month for a bigger chunk than I’ve had in a bit, but even though it’s coming up in about two weeks from now, I still don’t know an exact date. So because of that, there’s really no way to figure out when we’re gonna be wrapping.”
Who else is looking forward to Stranger Things season four?
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