It’s obvious the Duffer brothers did not go there with the back of the spoon for this great return Strange things, the cult series from the Netflix platform. In this fourth and much awaited season, the heroes who have grown up well will leave the small town of Hawkins and be confronted by a highly devilish creature. Meet Matt and Ross Duffer, fathers of this saga that makes us gaga.
TeleZ.fr: What to say about Strange things season 4?
Ross Duffer: This is by far the most horrible and scary for our heroes! Sections 7 and 9 in particular are like movies.
As with season 2, this season has nine episodes (against only eight for the previous season). At first we wanted to tighten the story, but we discussed it with our writers and we said to ourselves that it would not be possible in eight sections.
So we went to Netflix to ask if they were ok with making one more episode, and luckily they said “Go”. But it was not originally planned that way!
“The first title in the series was Montauk »
TeleZ.fr: Is it true that before it becomes the planetary phenomenon that we know, Strange things almost had a different plot and cast each season?
Matt Duffer: Yes, we had originally planned to make it an anthology series. At one point we had the idea of making a season in the 80s, then one in the 90s, one in the 2000s … Which means season 5 would have been in the 2020s, therefore in phase with our era.
But I think we ultimately loved this universe from the 80s so much that we did not want to say goodbye to these kids.
Ross Duffer: The first title in the series was Montauk. We wanted to shoot in this coastal city in the state of New York and create a small town in the style of Amity Island in Jaws by Steven Spielberg. But for production reasons, we decided to move the footage to the state of Georgia.
Why Montauk? Because it was the name of a so-called secret program of military experiments, especially related to the paranormal, which would have been carried out by the US government during the 1980s.
Matt Duffer: We started this series as a traditional sci-fi series, but as the episodes continued, it began to get a darker and darker air, integrating beings from parallel worlds and people with special powers. Not to mention children who solve problems but who know that a single mistake, a single mistake in judgment can ruin the world in an instant.
We were looking for a balance between this very serious tension that binds these teens and the light and often comical nature of their friendship, their sense of humor and the fact that they are engaged in something exciting.
TeleZ.fr: Looking back, how did you find these amazing teens in Strange things ?
Matt Duffer: Hundreds of children auditioned for the casting. Nearly 906 boys and 307 girls. Each child had to read parts of stand by mea film by Rob Reiner released in 1986!
Ross Duffer: We are fans of genre cinema, but there are too many movies in Hollywood today that seek to scare or imagine crazy stories, and forget what made these encyclopedias salt: the characters.
There are definitely monsters in Strange things, but they mean far less than our heroes. It’s the youth and the end of innocence we wanted to highlight, and in this season 4, it’s even more obvious!
“We are committed to sharing our passion for disturbing stories”
TeleZ.fr: How do you explain that the 1980s are so popular?
Matt Duffer: Most of the young instructors who, like us, stand out today, grew up in the eighties. They go back to their years of learning and look for something simpler, free of modern technology. We are the last generation that has gone through our childhood without internet, without spending our time texting. Back then, when we got on our bikes and rode through the woods, it felt like an insane adventure could start any moment … as in The Goonies.
TeleZ.fr: When you were kids, what scared you the most, and today, are there still things that will scare you?
Ross Duffer: The problem is, my brother and I watched so many creepy movies in our youth that we somehow made ourselves insensitive. But to answer your question, I remember seeing when I was a child That. It was a 1990s miniseries, I think. This series has really traumatized us because we have always been afraid of clowns!
Matt Duffer: You forget Evil death ! Although in this movie there was a “comic” aspect when you are nine years old, it is not something you perceive. You see everything in the first degree!
Ross Duffer: You should also know that horror movies, we discovered them alone. Our father hated this type of production as well as our friends. When we saw films such as hellraiser, we were alone late at night in a dark room. In short, all the conditions required to have nightmares!
And I do not know why this feeling appealed to us so much. I remember the babysitter one afternoon telling us how Freddy Kruger had become an abominable creature. We must have been four or five years old, and we drank in his words!
Matt Duffer: To the point where we would also like to tell stories that give cold sweat. Not the ones we had heard, no, the ones we had imagined in our little heads of children! We grew up, and throughout our lives we have been eager to share our passion for disturbing stories.
TeleZ.fr: How twins work on a movie set Strange things ? By telepathy?
Ross Duffer: It’s not telepathic, but we know each other really well, so a glance can express a lot. My brother and I spent a lot of our lives together, we went to school together, we went to college together, and we now work together, so we are really on the same page. Disagreements are very rare.
Matt Duffer: We really need to be together to be creative. Especially at the writing level. We speak with one voice and do everything. To write Strange things, each undertook a scene, and then we criticized each other to check if our scenes worked and if we both went in the right direction. We must believe that we were not wrong!
Strange things season 4series available on Netflix.