Nearly two years after we last caught up with Eleven, the queen of caring only about her magnets and her boy, Joyce Byers, several Demogorgons (demogorgi?) and World's Best Mom (TM), Steve Harrington, just to name a few of Hawkins, Indiana's mall-crawling residents, Stranger Things is back with a brand new teaser for its highly-anticipated fourth season. 

Posted to the show's social media pages on Thursday morning, the one-minute and ten-second clip appears to be a flashback of Eleven's childhood, giving viewers a peek inside Hawkins National Laboratory, showing several of what are likely our heroine's hospital-gown-clad peers playing at the facility under the surveillance of Dr. Martin Brenner, who they, too, all call “Papa." As he presumably greets the other children, telling them he has “something very special” planned for them, the camera then pans to a closed door labeled “11,” the sound of shallow breathing overtaking the shot. “Eleven, are you listening?” Brenner says towards the end of the video, before revealing a close-up shot of Eleven's eyes and ultimately cutting to black. 

Appearing to imply that the show's fourth season will delve into Eleven's origin story, this not the first glimpse fans have had at the upcoming installment of Stranger Things, which was first announced in September 2019. On Valentine's Day 2020, fans were treated to another short clip entitled “From Russia with love…” providing not only gorgeous sweeping landscapes of what is likely the Russian wilderness but also -- SPOILER ALERT –  a very heavy implication that Jim Hopper, Hawkins's former Chief of Police and Eleven's guardian who seemingly died in a multi-dimensional portal explosion at the end of season three was actually teleported to Russia, where he may be imprisoned. 

Furthermore, this latest clip is also not likely to be the last. With the first trailer captioned 001/004, the second video is labeled 002/004, implying that fans can perhaps expect two new teasers in the near-ish future – despite the 15-month gap between the first two clips. 

So why, exactly, did we have to wait nearly a year-and-a-half to receive a second teaser? Much like countless other delays and postponements over the past 14-ish months, the answer comes down to pesky, old Covid-19. Although the series began filming its fourth season in early 2020, the cast and crew were only able to work for two weeks before production shut down due to the pandemic, The Verge reported. Filming on the show resumed last September, however actor Gaten Matarazzo, who plays loveable nerd, Dustin Henderson, recently told Collider that “there’s really no way to figure out when we’re gonna be wrapping."

“There’s very few dates that are reliable," the 18-year-old star explained in late March. “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.”


Despite this relatively unsteady filming schedule, there is one element of the show's fourth season that is seemingly written in stone – the script. A departure from shoots past, where according to Matarazzo, the Duffer Brothers, who created and write Stranger Things would be penning the season's final episodes amid filming, leaving the actors with “no idea what’s gonna happen” as "they haven’t written all of it yet,” the pandemic has apparently allowed the sibling duo to really focus on directing. 

“I think they’ve been able to relish in directing in their day-to-day," the actor said of the Duffer brothers. “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.” And it seems this focus is having a positive impact on the final product. “… 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,” Matarazzo continued, "and I think it shows.”

So folks, although the series has no release date as of yet, it seems it'll only be a matter of time until we visit Hawkins, Russia, and presumably The Upside Down again. 

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

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