Netflix’s golden goose ‘Stranger Things’ hit by writers’ strike as final 5th season delayed

Fans of Stranger Things will have to wait even longer for the final season.
The creators behind "Stranger Things" have paused work on the final season due to the writers' strike.
Chris Delmas—AFP/Getty Images

Fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things will have to wait even longer to find out the conclusion to the story centered around psychokinetic teenager Eleven and her friends.

The brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, creators of the supernatural world of the Upside Down, posted to social media they are downing their proverbial tools after collective bargaining talks between writers and studios collapsed earlier this month.

“Writing does not stop when filming begins,” the Duffer Brothers tweeted on Saturday. “While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike.”

The duo are not the only big-name creatives to oppose studio pressure to remain behind their desk. J.J. Abrams, the filmmaker behind the latest Star Wars trilogy and a Star Trek reboot, took to the picket line to protest, as did Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis, in solidarity with other writers.

The strike comes at a sensitive time for Hollywood. Traditional workhorses like the Marvel Cinematic Universe have disappointed, investors are pressuring studios like Disney to focus on profitability rather than subscriber growth, and media giants like Warner Bros. and Discovery are consolidating to combine their respective content libraries to better compete.

Stranger Things meanwhile is Netflix’s golden goose, a critical and commercial success that has become a cultural phenomenon.

It became the streaming service’s most watched English-language show ever, when the fourth season pulled in 1.35 billion combined viewing hours in the first 28 days of its release, far eclipsing other well-known stalwarts like Bridgerton and The Crown.

Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill,“ which features prominently in the latest installment, returned to storm the billboards, and fans even celebrate Stranger Things Day on Nov. 6 when fictional protagonists Eleven and Mike met for the first time. 

Last strike proved disastrous for film and TV

In April, the creative minds behind the entertainment industry voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike as negotiations over their next three-year contract with the studios began to break down. 

Unlike in 2017, last-minute attempts to broker a deal with the studios failed, and union leaders agreed to strike.

That means that writers are picketing for the first time since a 100-day walkout in November 2007 that brought Tinseltown to a grinding halt. Hollywood star Daniel Craig blamed his entirely forgettable second outing as fictional British spy James Bond on the writers’ strike, which forced him to help out on the script while shooting Quantum of Solace

It also led to numerous truncated TV series debuting, and many claim it helped killed off Tim Kring’s hit series Heroes after just one season.

While this year’s strike will disrupt work on Stranger Things, the show that began in 2016 is set to conclude anyway when the final episodes air.

“We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work,” the Duffer Brothers wrote. “Until then—over and out.”

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