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Fourth Season of "Stranger Things" to Be One of the Most Expensive in Television History, With $30M Spent per Episode26.04.2022

The first part of the penultimate season of Stranger Things is slated to debut on Netflix on May 27, with the second volume following on July 1. 

The official trailer seems to suggest that this season will hew much closer to horror than its predecessors. Following the battle for Starcourt, the four friends from Hawkins, Indiana, found themselves parting ways: Eleven and Will moved to California, while Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Max  stayed behind in Indiana where they will be starting high school. In this time of separation, a new supernatural threat surfaces—but if they manage to deal with it, the horrors of the Upside Down might finally come to an end.

According to the series creators, the production refused to concede to half-measures and narrative compromises. Nine scripts were written, totaling over 800 pages, and the Duffer brothers said in an official statement, that the season would feature “thousands of VFX shots,” and a “running time twice as long as any previous season.” Now, The Wall Street Journal reveals that Netflix upped the series’ budget, earmarking around $30M per episode. The price tag puts to shame its past big-budget offerings, including Orange is the New Black ($4M per episode), House of Cards ($5M per episode), Bridgerton ($7M per episode), The Witcher ($10M per episode), and The Crown ($13M per episode).

No other streaming platform has managed to come up with budget numbers to match Netflix’s flagship property—trailing close behind is Disney, with its Marvel Cinematic Universe-themed vehicles like Loki and WandaVision (ca. $25M), and HBO, with its Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon  ($20M). Industry experts predict, however, that the Stranger Things record might be broken by Amazon Prime Video ’s highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, whose overall budget is reported to sit at $465M, which would mean a per-episode budget (assuming the series will actually contain eight episodes) of nearly $60M.

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