New teaser for Stranger Things season 3 is a retro video ad for the mall
Everyone's excited about the new season of Netflix's 80's-era sci fi/horror juggernaut, Stranger Things. And that includes the cast, since for season 3, they all got gigantic pay raises. The four boys, Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will) will earn $250,000 per episode. And according to TMZ, 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown, who plays telekinetic badass Eleven, will earn $350,000 per episode. When I was her age, I had a paper route. I made just slightly less.
The new season won't be released until summer 2019, but we've already learned some intriguing details. New characters will include the slick, narcissistic Mayor, a sexist, overweight reporter, a sweet old lady, and an 'alternative girl' bored of her day job. The season will take place in the summer of 1985, which means there will definitely be references to Back to the Future. (Great Scott!) The couples will awkwardly explore romance, and we'll get to see more of 'Dad-Steve' mentoring Dustin.
This morning Netflix released a surprise teaser for the new season that reveals a major location: The Starcourt Mall. Remember how season one focused on Dungeons and Dragons, and season two focused on the arcade? It appears season three will focus on the mall, every teenager's favorite hangout in the 80's. (I mean, what else is there to do in Hawkins, Indiana?)
The teaser takes the form of a grainy VHS video advertisement. If you're a millennial, you're sure to get waves of nostalgia from the 80's versions of retail stores. There's Sam Goody, The Gap, Radio Shack, Claire's, Waldenbooks, a jazzercise studio and an Orange Julius stand. There's even a shot of a guy dancing to Walkman. (They were like iPods, except terrible.)
At the end of the video, the announcer plugs "America's favorite place to cool down," the Scoops Ahoy ice cream shop. And who's working behind the counter? Steve Harrington, played by Joe Keery, and new character Robin, the 'alternative girl,' played by Maya Hawke. They both say "Ahoy!" to the camera with perfect enthusiasm.
The Stranger Things team created the Starcourt Mall by transforming the Gwinnett Place Mall in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the production team "painstakingly re-created storefronts" to look just like they did in 1985. (Which happens the same year the Gwinnett Place Mall opened.) The stores contain real 80's merchandise, the arcade contains real 80's games, and the movie theater shows 80's movies like Fletch and Cocoon. That's, like, totally tubular!
Unfortunately, that's all the info from the teaser. But recently David Harbour, who plays Police Chief Jim Hopper, revealed his thoughts on the new season to Deadline. He described season one as "very Stephen King-y" and season two as "more Spielberg-y." As for season 3, he sad, "We’re experimenting a lot this season, and we’re taking risks, and I hope that they pay off. ... We’re going into territories we’ve never been to before, and it’s exciting."
And to an 80's teenager, no territory is more exciting than the mall.