A love letter to the 80s supernatural classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.
Winona Ryder stars in the 8-episode series as the missing boy’s mother, alongside Matthew Modine, David Harbour and Matthew Modine.
Facts about Netflix’s original Stranger Things
Winona Ryder wanted her hairstyle modelled after Meryl Streep’s hair in Silkwood.
To help sell the show, the Matt and Ross Duffer (writers, directors and producers on the show) edited a mock ‘trailer’ the combined clips of over 25 feature films, including E.T., Nightmare on Elm Street, Super 8 and Halloween.
Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have appeared together once before, in the music video for Roy Orbison’s ‘A love is so beautuful’.
The composers of the Stranger Things soundtrack (Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon) were two members of an Austin synth band called SURVIVE; their music was featured in the soundtrack of the film The Guest. This is how the Duffers initially discovered them. Michael and Kyle both quit their day jobs in order to work on the show.
The composers have written over 13 hours of music for the show.
The title sequence was inspired by the work of Richard Greenber, who designed a number of classic 80s title sequences (including Alien, Altered States, Superman, and The Goonies).
Gaten Matarazzo (who plays Dustin) and Caleb McLaughlin (who plays Lucas) both acted on broadway; Gaten played Gavroche in Les Miserables, and Caleb played Young Simba in The Lion King. The two boys knew each other but they didn’t become close friends until after working on Stranger Things.
Gaten’s voice changed so much by the time production ended that the sound team was unable to use him for additional dialogue recording.
Before starting the show, the writers watched – or re-watched – a large list of films including, E.T., Stand By Me, The Goonies, The Thing, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The Duffers has all the boys audition with scenes from Stand By Me.
To help sell the show, the Duffers created a ‘look book’ which was designed in the style of a vintage Stephen King novel.
Although the show was shot digitally on the RED Dragon, a layer of real film grain was applied to help achieve a more vintage look.
It was Caleb’s request to wear a camouflage bandana in the show; he wears it for the final three episodes.
The monster was achieved through a combination of prosthetics, animatronics, performance, and CG.
The toddlers on set were very scared by the monster, but they were calmed when told he was just like the monsters in Monsters, Inc.
To get Millie to float in a kiddie pool, twelve hundred pounds of Epsom salts were dissolved into the water.
Millie had to shave most of her hair off for the show. As can be expected of any 11 year old girl, it was a terrifying prospect. The Duffers showed her how cool Charlize Theron looked in Mad Max: Fury Road, after which Millie agreed to it.
Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike Wheeler is a film buff and wants to be a director when he grows up. He is a particular fan of Sam Raimi’s early work.
Hopper’s trailer was purchased by the art department for 41.
For some of the laboratory scenes, Millie was submerged in an underwater immersion tank. She was able to breathe by wearing a Sea Trek helmet, which weighs approximately 70lbs above water; it weighs 15lbs beneath the surface of the water. The helmet was designed for shallow ‘underwater walking’.
To direct Millie while she was underwater, the Duffers communicated with her through a small radio in her ear.
Millie Brown (who plays Eleven) and Charlie Heaton (who plays Jonathan) are both from the UK.