Shawn Levy: ‘Stranger Things 5’ Is as ‘Big as Any of the Biggest Movies’ in Theaters

Shawn Levy is promising that “Stranger Things” Season 5 goes beyond being just a television event.

The director and executive producer told Total Film magazine that the final season of the Netflix series has “major, major, cinematic storytelling” elements that rivals the “biggest movies” in theaters today.

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“There’s no way to be contiguous with Season 4, and not, frankly, expand scale and depth,” Levy said. “It’s major, major, cinematic storytelling that happens to be called a TV series. ‘Stranger Things 5’ is as big as any of the biggest movies that we see.”

Season 4 saw episodes extending into feature length, with the season finale clocking in at 2 hours and 30 minutes, and several installments hovering around an hour and a half.

“Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers revealed earlier this year that the Season 5 pitch to Netflix made executives “cry” over the course of two hours.

“We did get our executives to cry, which I thought was a good sign,” Matt Duffer said during a Netflix SAG FYC event. “The only other time I’ve seen them cry is like, budget meetings.”

Ross Duffer spoke of wrapping up the storylines across the ensemble cast, saying, “We have so many characters now, most who are still living. It’s important to wrap up those arcs as a lot of these characters have been growing since Season 1. So it’s a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up these loose ends and doing our final reveals.”

He added, “Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each. I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in sort of the tone of one.”

Actor David Harbour confirmed that the Duffer Bros’ final “Stranger Things” installment is “very, very moving.”

“They’re terrific, as per usual,” Harbour said of the upcoming episodes. “They continue to outdo themselves, these currently on-strike writers called the Duffer Brothers. It’s a hell of an undertaking, too. I mean, the set pieces and the things in the scripts that we saw are bigger than anything we’ve done in the past.”

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