The problem with being an out-of-nowhere, successful Netflix series is fans start clamoring for more almost as soon as the series drops, and for the third season of the juggernaut sci-fi thriller, the Duffer Brothers are dealing with the fact that we're ready to head back to Hawkins before the story is even written.
With that being said, there have been some details trickling in about what's next. On Tuesday, TVLine reported that ST3 will be slightly abridged from its season two length -- reducing from nine episodes down to eight. This isn't too much to panic about. After all, the first season was only eight episodes long and still managed to turn all our worlds Upside Down. Plus, with the pressure to turn around a whole new season, a more manageable workload for the Duffers presumably raises the likelihood that it will be good and engaging, as opposed to feeling rushed or thin.
More than just the length is changing, though. The show won't pick up right where it left off, as our lovable crew of D&D-enthusiast kids is starting to grow up -- fast. Since we can't really just hide their growth spurt legs like Game of Thrones did with Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter last October to expect a time jump for season three.
"Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn't. Our kids are aging," they explained. "But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing."
As for when we will be seeing the show, TVLine confirmed that production is slated to begin in mid-April. Meanwhile, David Harbour -- who plays Detective Hopper -- shared last year that new episodes would likely not arrive at Netflix until 2019.
"Like, you probably won’t get [season three] until sometime in 2019," he told Variety. "But also part of the thing is, like any good thing, they need time. And those guys work so hard. I mean, they just sit in their apartment and write for 12, 14 hours a day.”
Beyond that, details are sparse, especially given that one of the best leakers, Harbour, is being more careful to keep his lips sealed this time around.
"It’s so funny, I get in so much trouble revealing little things, so my mouth has been completely shut anytime someone asks," he told Time Out in January. "I will tell you this: I haven’t read the scripts yet, but from what [I've heard so far] it sounds really, really fun and really amazing. I’m constantly surprised by these writers."
However, in November, Gavin Matarazzo -- who plays Dustin -- did give ET a tiny hint as to where the third season may be going.
"The Mind Flayer -- a lot of people ask if he's still there because if you notice in the last episode [of season two], a piece of it leaves Will, but it doesn't go out the portal. So, there's still kind of a connection there."
Well, if the Mind Flayer does return, he'll have some familiar foes, as Harbour and Matarazzo, as well as Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Winona Ryder (Joyce), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Noah Schnapp (Will), Cara Buono (Karen), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan), Joe Keery (Steve), Dacre Montgomery (Billy) and Sadie Sink (Max) are all returning to the show.
And that's about all we have for now. One thing's for certain is that when more does come out, we will be as excited as Harbour was when the show took off in a way he admittedly never imagined.
"I thought that no one would watch it," he confessed to ET at the 2018 Golden Globes. It's like, every time I throw a birthday party, I just think no one's gonna come.
"We were terrified, and then when it came out it just became this grassroots kind of zeitgeist," he added. "It was very gratifying."
Watch the video below for more of what he had to say.