'Stranger Things' Spinoff Won't Be About Eleven or Dustin

"It's 1,000% different," according to the Stranger Things creators.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
2 min read
Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo

Unfortunately, we won't be getting a Dustin spinoff. 


Following news that they had cooked up an idea for a spinoff series, Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers have revealed that the plan isn't to follow an individual character from the show.

"I've read these rumors that, you know, there's going to be an Eleven spinoff, even Dustin spinoff... It's nothing like that," Matt and Ross Duffer said on an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast released July 4. The idea isn't to follow another lab kid, either. "It's like, we've done all that. I mean, we spent I don't know how many hours exploring all that. So it's very different."

The Duffers confirmed to Variety in May that they had a spinoff concept in mind and they hadn't shared it with Netflix yet. (Finn Wolfhard, the actor who plays Mike on the show, correctly guessed the idea on his own.) In the July podcast, host Joshua Horowitz asked them if the spinoff has a familiar setting and characters or if it will be "1,000% different." The Duffers said it's the latter.

But they also said there is "connective tissue" -- specifically with "storytelling sensibility."

And what, you ask, is "storytelling sensibility?" Thankfully, they did elaborate. "I get when people say oh, [Stranger Things] it's just a big love letter, homage to these films, but really, it was more us trying to recapture that style of storytelling or that storytelling sensibility that seemed to have kind of gone out of fashion," the Duffer brothers said.

They notably count directors like Steven Spielberg and Wes Craven as influences. "We wanted to bring back that sort of ... sincere, adventure, family storytelling that just seems to have gone, you know, with the exception of Super 8, nobody was doing... So that really more than anything is what it is, it's still trying to stay in that zone."

The final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 are now streaming on Netflix. The fifth and final season of the show will apparently premiere in 2024. In a note to fans in February, the Duffer brothers said "there are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of 'Stranger Things'; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes." It seems the "new" part is going to be key.

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