Stranger Things has always been an expensive series, with the last season reportedly costing $30 million per episode. Although the filming for the fifth and final season has yet to happen, it's likely that this budget will rise, largely due to the cast's salaries.
The actors, who have become worldwide stars through their roles in the series, have played an instrumental part in its success. As the series has evolved over the years, the cast's salaries have understandably increased, reflecting their growing prominence in the entertainment industry. With each passing season, the young actors have garnered more recognition and acclaim for their performances, making their compensation commensurate with their contributions to the show.
Based on the latest update from Puck News, the cast of Stranger Things has successfully negotiated their salaries for the fifth and ultimate season. Although the total cast salaries for the season remain undisclosed, they are estimated to be in the vicinity of approximately $80 million.
According to the report, the cast of Stranger Things which includes approximately 20 actors in starring roles, went into the negotiations together. Netflix then organized the cast into distinct "tiers," wherein actors within each tier received identical compensation for their roles in the upcoming season.
Leading actors Winona Ryder and David Harbour, both esteemed figures in the industry, have been positioned in the first tier. Ryder, in particular, was the most prominent name associated with the show before its initial release, effectively catapulting the rest of the cast to stardom. As a testament to their integral roles, they are slated to earn a noteworthy $9.5 million for the upcoming season, marking a significant increase from their previous season 3 salaries of $2.8 million. This substantial raise reflects their enduring contributions to the series and their established status within the cast.
The second tier comprises the original four young actors who assumed lead roles in the show's inception: Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard along with Sadie Sink, following her standout performance in the fourth season. Their compensation for the upcoming season will surpass $7 million.
It's worth noting that when the show debuted in its first season, these young actors, who were then around 12 to 13 years old, received $25,000 per episode, accumulating to a total of $200,000 for the entire season. The substantial increase in their salaries underscores the remarkable journey they've undertaken in becoming pivotal figures in the series.
The third tier comprises actors portraying young adults and older teens, featuring talents such as Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Maya Hawke. Their compensation for the season is set to exceed $6 million, recognizing their pivotal roles in the series.
As for the fourth tier, it includes the remaining ensemble, which includes actors like Brett Gelman, Priah Ferguson, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Cara Buono. While the specific figures for this tier were not disclosed in the report, it has been noted that their earnings are notably lower compared to the cast members in the higher tiers.
Millie Bobby Brown's name is missing from the report because her compensation structure is a distinct and highly valuable component. She has a pre-existing overall deal with Netflix which extends beyond her role in Stranger Things. This deal encompassed her roles in other Netflix productions such as the Enola Holmes films and the Russo Brothers' upcoming project, The Electric State.
According to the reports, Brown's compensation for her starring role in the Enola Holmes movie sequel amounted to a remarkable $10 million. This substantial earning is a testament to her exceptional standing within the Netflix ecosystem.