Stranger Things season 2 has only been out for a few months, but Netflix has already officially confirmed that season 3 will happen. Here's everything we know about the third series so far, including the possible release date and plot rumours.

The Duffer brothers had previously suggested that they would continue with Stranger Things beyond season 2, suggesting at the time that the show would probably run for four seasons before they brought it to an end.

When will Netflix release season 3?

Netflix hasn't set an official release date for the third season of the show, but we can make some educated guesses about when it will arrive.

The first season dropped on 15 July 2016, with the second following on 27 October 2017. If the creators follow the same time scale that would suggest a third season arriving around December 2018, but since the season only entered production in March 2018 it could take even longer. Add in the news that the next season will be set in summer, and we wouldn't be shocked if Netflix holds the release until spring or summer 2019.

The first teaser footage, which you can watch below, takes the form of an advert for a mall, which it says is "coming next summer" - so probably the show will be too. 

Netflix all but confirmed a delay to a summer launch at the Television Critics Association press tour, explaining that the longer wait is because "it's a hand-crafted show."

“You know, the [creators] the Duffer Brothers and [director] Shawn Levy have worked really hard and they understand the stakes are high,” Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said. “They want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so, they really want to take the time to get it right. I think it’s gonna be a fantastic season, it’s gonna be worth the wait.”

Season 3 rumours

Netflix only confirmed that season 3 was on the way in December, and so far hasn't revealed much about what to expect. Still, we know a few things.

First up, we know that the show is returning to an eight-episode, after extending itself to nine last year. Hopefully that'll help the showrunners keep the quality consistent after the bad reaction to the seventh episode of season two.

Executive Producer Shawn Levy also revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that the show will be advancing roughly a year to the summer of 1985, and confirmed that Back to the Future (which released that year) will be a reference point, presumably similarly to how season two included the kids in Ghostbuster costumes for Halloween.

Levy also revealed that the kids will still be in the same couples the show left them in, with Mike and Eleven, and Max and Lucas, all still going strong, which should change the group's dynamic a bit. The best news of all though was that Steve Harrington (played by Joe Keery) will have even more to do this time around.

"We'll definitely get to see some more of Steve Harrington in season three, and I'll just say we won't be abandoning the Dad Steve magic. I don't want to say much more, but I literally feel that we were walking along and we stumbled onto a gold mine with Dad Steve," Levy said.

We also know there will be a few new recurring characters in the next season. The first to be announced were Lucas' sister Erica (Priah Ferguson), who we saw a bit of last year; and new character Robin (Maya Thurman-Hawke), who will play a young woman who is bored at her job until she learns more about the town's dark secrets - you can see a glimpse of her (and said job) in the Starcourt Mall teaser below.

In April 2018 the producers announced two bigger bits of casting: joining the show for season three are Cary Elwes (best known for The Princess Bride) and Jake Busey (son of Gary, but he's also appeared in the likes of Starship Troopers). Elwes will play Mayor Kline, while we don't know much about Busey's part - he's just listed as Bruce.

Watch the trailers

So far we haven't yet had any proper footage from season 3. We have had one teaser for the show, but it wouldn't really be fair to call it a trailer... it's essentially an advert for a fictional mall featuring a brief glimpse of Joe Keery's Steve and Maya Thurman-Hawke's new character Robin:

How to watch Stranger Things free

Stranger Things is a Netflix exclusive, which means you’ll either need to subscribe to Netflix or find a friend who already has done. Alternatively, if you’re prepared to watch the series quickly enough you can simply sign up for a month’s free trial at Netflix.com

If you do decide to subscribe, one of the great things about Netflix is you can cancel at any time. Netflix charges a monthly subscription, the cheapest of which is £5.99/$7.99. You can pay extra to enable Netflix streaming on more than one device at a time (you can watch on your laptop, PC, TV, tablet or phone) and to unlock HD and Ultra-HD content.

Simply log in and use the Search function or look under Netflix Originals for Stranger Things, then tap to play.