Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ prequel play to debut in London

The theater world is heading into the Upside Down and even additional again in time. Netflix on Wednesday introduced the discharge date for “Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” a brand new play specializing in among the unique collection’ grownup characters rising up in 1959 — “before the world turned upside down.”

And co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer “can’t wait to see you nerds in London” when the play premieres on the Phoenix Theatre in the town’s West End later this yr.

The play, primarily based on the streaming large’s hit sci-fi collection, serves as a prequel to the hit Eighties-set supernatural saga, mining the backstory of among the Hawkins, Ind., high-profile denizens and bringing all-new supply materials to the wildly well-liked franchise in the identical vein as Broadway’s Tony Award-winning present “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

“The First Shadow” is written by Kate Trefry, a author and co-executive producer on the TV present, and is predicated on an unique story by Matt and Ross Duffer, Jack Thorne and Trefry. It will likely be “rooted in the mythology and world of the Netflix global phenomenon,” the streamer stated.

A promotional poster for “Stranger Things: The First Shadow.”


The synopsis: “Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.”

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And — spoiler alert — Creel, after all, was later revealed to be the terrifying creature Vecna that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) banished to the Upside Down in Season 4.

The “gripping new adventure” plans to take followers “right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story — and may hold the key to the end,” Netflix stated.

Three-time Tony Award winner and Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry (“The Reader,” “The Hours,” “Billy Elliot”) will direct, with co-direction from Justin Martin. Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions will produce the play. The Duffer Brothers, who say they’re “beyond excited” concerning the play, will act as artistic producers, with 21 Laps as affiliate producer.

“Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt,” the Duffers stated in assertion. “You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won’t — it’s more fun to discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!”

“Stranger Things has captured the imagination of fans around the world and we are incredibly thrilled to expand this exciting universe with Netflix’s first live stage production,” added Greg Lombardo, vice chairman of dwell experiences for Netflix. “With the creative talents of Matt and Ross Duffer combined with Sonia Friedman and Stephen Daldry, theatregoers will be swept up in a truly epic event worthy of Stranger Things.”

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The world premiere for “Stranger Things: The First Shadow” has been set for late 2023. Tickets will go on sale within the spring, with extra particulars being introduced later this month. Priority entry to tickets will likely be given to followers who register Wednesday on the play’s web site.

“Stranger Things 4,” which started streaming final May, rapidly turned Netflix’s No. 1 present on its hottest English TV record, with audiences clocking in additional than 1.35 billion hours considered in its first 28 days. It was the second title in Netflix historical past to cross the billion-hour viewing mark, the streamer stated. (“Squid Game” was the primary.) Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” which was launched in 2019, nonetheless holds the No. 6 spot on the streamer’s hottest English TV record. It was additionally named 2022’s most-streamed TV present and general program by Nielsen.

In February 2022, the Duffers stated that the unique collection would seemingly finish with Season 5 and, in a June 2022 interview with Variety, they teased one of many present’s upcoming spin-off tasks. The “Stranger Things” occasions staff has already been exhausting at work bringing real-life Upside Down experiences to followers with dwell leisure tasks together with “Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience.”

Meanwhile, “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp, who performs Will Byers within the hit, stated that taking pictures for Season 5 begins for him in May.