“Stranger Things” Season 5 is a long way off (perhaps even as distant as 2026) due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
But to soften the blow, Netflix has dropped a video preview of the upcoming stage play “Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” which begins performances this month in London.
“We were in the middle of breaking Season 4 with our writers, and we started going, ‘OK, well, there’s definitely more story to tell here,’” says Ross Duffer, who co-created the sci-fi series with his brother Matt, in the featurette. “We wanted to tell an original story set in the ‘Stranger Things’ universe.”
The all-new tale, written by series writer Kate Trefry, will be a prequel — so don’t come looking for Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas or Eleven — partly about young Hopper and Joyce, played on the streaming show by David Harbour and Winona Ryder respectively.
Those roles will be taken on at the Phoenix Theatre by Oscar Lloyd and Isabella Pappas. Broadway fans also will recognize Patrick Vaill, who played Judd Fry in the recent revival of “Oklahoma!,” as the sinister Dr. Brenner.
The focal point of “First Shadow,” however, is said to be Henry Creel, a k a Subject 001 and (spoiler alert) the Upside Down monster known as Vecna in Season 4.
It’s 1959, and Henry (Louis McCartney) moves to Hawkins, Ind. with his family, and starts up a flirtation with a new character named Patty Newby (Ella Karuna Williams). Henry soon discovers, of course, that the tiny town is a dark and supernatural place.
“The First Shadow” is directed by Stephen Daldry, whose “Billy Elliot: The Musical” won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2009. And it’s produced, with Netflix, by Sonia Friedman, whose ongoing “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is cut from the same pop cultural cloth.
Like “Cursed Child,” the play promises to be filled with spectacle.
“There are a lot of monsters,” says visual effects artist Jamie Harrison in the clip. “There are a lot of blood and guts effects. There are a lot of vanishes and appearances, and lots of other things that I’m not going to tell you about now because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.”
“Stranger Things: The First Shadow” begins performances Nov. 17 at the Phoenix Theatre in London, with an opening night set for Dec. 14.
This story originally appeared on NY Post