The Duffer brothers has addressed the expected runtimes of season 5's episodes after the season 4 became the show's longest season yet.
The much awaited Stranger Things season 4 came after three years following the COVID-19 pandemic. It was released via a unique release schedule that saw season 4 split into two volumes. In a recent interview with THR, the Duffer Brothers talked about the extreme runtime of Stranger Things episodes.
"The run times being as long as they were was something of a surprise to us. Ross and I have been trying to analyze how they ended up that long, because the scripts aren’t even that long. We’ve realized that our writing style has changed a little bit, in terms of how we space out description. I think that added to some length. Also, we had an additional plot with Hopper in Russia. It’s a pretty dense season. We weren’t sure they were that long, really, until we got into edit. But it’s something Ross and I are actually excited about; with streaming, you’re not beholden to advertisers in the way that television used to be. We don’t have to hit this specific 45-minute length, so it can be as short or as long as you want."
"Our concern is pacing. If we can hold your interest for an hour and 15 minutes, then that’s a win. We did discuss breaking up [the finale]. We ultimately decided if it’s too long for someone, they can pause it and they can come back. It’s like reading a book. You can watch it at your own pace."
The Duffer Brothers also discussed the possible runtime of season 5 episodes.
"I don’t think the run times will be as extreme in season five. We’re trying to return to the simplicity of the structure in season one, with bigger scale and scope. Except for the finale, which I’m expecting will be pretty massive."