Stranger things
Photo: Netflix

Yes, we know you’re itching for more from the world of Stranger Things. The good news: Season 3 is deep in pre-production right now. The bad: we probably won’t be seeing the new season in full for quite some time. Thankfully, the masterminds behind the show are dropping some clues as to what’s next, and BAZAAR is breaking them all down below.

1) It probably won’t be back until 2019.

David Harbour, who plays Chief Hopper, told Variety that Season 3 probably won’t premiere until next year. “One of the things that’s annoying for fans is that it takes us a long time to do [a season],” Harbour said. “Like, you probably won’t get [Season 3] until sometime in 2019. But also part of the thing is, like any good thing, [the seasons] need time. And those guys [Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer] work so hard. I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day.”

2) It will feature eight or nine episodes.

As of January, production on Season 3 seemed to be moving along nicely. Executive producer Shawn Levy teased eight or nine episodes for the season, telling Glamour, “The number of episodes will be dictated by the amount of story that excites us. We now know what is going to happen in Season 3 to every character.”

3) The story is going to feel fresh.

You probably noticed that the end of Season 2 felt markedly different from the first one. Instead of an obvious cliffhanger, the Hawkins gang received a surprise happy ending—minus that ominous final shot of the Mind Flayer hovering over a version of the school inside the Upside Down. Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter they wanted a “clean slate” for the show’s third installment: “We didn’t want to box ourselves in for Season 3.”

4) You haven’t seen the last of the Mind Flayer.

“This thing [is still out there],” Ross Duffer told THR. “They’ve shut the door on the Mind Flayer, but not only is it still there in the Upside Down, it’s very much aware of the kids, and particularly Eleven.” Given the immense power Eleven showcased while shutting the portal in the Season 2 finale, will she become responsible for ultimately destroying the Upside Down? Maybe she’ll need her siblings for that…

Stranger Things
Photo: Netflix

5) Kali was the first but she won’t be the last.

“I think we’ve clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can’t imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight,” Levy told E!. Maybe Eleven will set out on a search for them—and hopefully take Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will with her. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matt Duffer called Season 2’s divisiveEpisode 7, in which Eleven spends time with Kali and her friends, “a whole little other pilot episode in the middle of your season,” so it sounds like they’re planning more like it.

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6) Get ready for some new faces.

Last week, Netflix announced that actress Maya Thurman-Hawke (the 19-year-old daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke) will the cast in a recurring role. She plays “an ‘alternative girl’ bored with her mundane day job,” Variety reports. “She seeks excitement in her life and gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers a dark secret in Hawkins, Indiana.”

7) And there will be a lot more Erica, too.

The best character of Season 2 will have an even bigger role in Season 3; actress Priah Ferguson returns to the show in a recurring role as Lucas’s devastatingly witty little sister. Here’s what’s in store for Erica, according to Variety: “No longer content with sitting on the sidelines, Erica finds herself on a wild mission to save Hawkins from a dangerous new threat.”

8) Prepare to leave Hawkins at some point.

The Hawkins lab is closed for good, executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen told Collider, which means the action probably won’t take place there in future seasons.

9) David Harbour has a lot of ideas for Hopper in Season 3, starting with more scenes with Joe Keery, who plays Steve.

In a wide-ranging interview with Mashable, Harbour revealed he loves how “kinda dumb” Steve is. “I would love to play scenes with him where Hopper is just completely ripping him apart and then he walks away and Steve just calls him a dipshit under his breath or something,” Harbour said. He’s also looking forward to exploring Hopper’s relationship with Eleven now that he’s officially, legally her father. “Hopper is now the dad of a girl who’s a teenager, so she’s going to be going through all these changes that it’s gonna be very difficult for him to guide her through,” he said.

Meanwhile, Steve will get more scenes with his other new best friend, Dustin. “I want to see them connect more and be more familiar with each other,” Levy told Glamour. “I want them to have a connection like they’ve really had a connection for a year—like they’re brothers.”

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Stranger Things
Photo: Netflix

10) Because the stars of the show are kids who are growing up, there needs to be another time jump.

“They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting Season 3,” Matt told THR. “It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.” Also, since Season 2 wrapped filming on June 2, 2017, Season 3 might not start filming until mid-year 2018—which could mean a mid-2019 release date. ???

11) There might be a new villain.

Levy told Glamour the gang will be “dealing with forces of evil that are new.” Does this mean the show is moving outside the realm of the supernatural? Perhaps there is some human evil in store for the new season.

12) Eleven and Max will move on from that icy moment in Episode 9.

In fact, they might even become friends. “We are excited to maybe see some more of those two together, moving forward,” Matt told HelloGiggles. Ross added, “They won’t be enemies,” and revealed we’ll be getting much more Max in the coming seasons. “We’re excited [to] spend more time with Max and develop her in a way…we’re sort of scratching the surface on this season of what I think she’s capable of.”

Stranger Things
Photo: Netflix

13) Season 3 might not focus on Will.

After two seasons of dealing directly with the Upside Down and its monsters, Will Byers might finally get a reprieve from its horrors. “Maybe now we’re going to give him a break,” Matt told THR. But Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, doesn’t think that’s gonna happen, telling THR:

“I personally think it’s not all out of him… There’s this massive monster taking over all of Hawkins, and all you have to do is light a few fires and turn on a few heaters, and he’s gone? It just doesn’t make sense to me, really. He’s still there—I just don’t know how.”

However, Levy told Glamour that Will will get a break in Season 3. “We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He’ll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah Schnapp to play.”

14) Papa is still alive.

Way back in August 2016, Matt Duffer told IGN that Dr. Brenner survived the monster attack in Season 1:

“As an audience member watching the show, if that was his death, that would be very unsatisfying to me—when the monster jumps on him and we cut away. He would deserve much more than that as an ending.”

In Season 2, we only saw him thanks to Eleven’s imagination, so he’ll likely make a true appearance within the action in a future season.

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15) We’ll probably learn more about Billy.

Last time we saw Season 2’s new bully, his stepsister Max was threatening his groin with a nail-studded wooden bat if he ever bothered her or her friends again. In an interview with PopSugar, actor Dacre Montgomery revealed he had conversations about “a past and a future” for Billy while filming Season 2. “Where he’s going became a discussion near the end of filming,” Montgomery said. But perhaps we’ll also get some flashbacks from the character in Season 3?

16) We might see Bob again.

They tried to kill Bob earlier in Season 2, Ross told EW, but loved his character too much. “I will say I would love to revisit the character of Bob in some way but I don’t know how to even do that,” Matt revealed.

17) The Duffer Brothers know how the story ends—but don’t know how many seasons are left.

“We know where we want to go,” Ross told E! “We’re trying to figure out how long it will take to get there.” Matt added, “Four [seasons] seems short, five seems long.”

17) We may never find out what exactly the Upside Down is.

“We’re telling this story from the point of view of very human characters,” Ross told THR. “There’s no way they can ever truly fully understand this place.”

This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US.