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Stranger Things producer addresses the show’s growing age problem

Producer Shawn Levy has clarified some recent comments he made which indicated that they might use de-aging CGI on the Stranger Things cast.

Noah Schnapp in Stranger Things season 4

Following numerous delays, Stranger Things fans have started to worry about the aging cast. Still, executive producer Shawn Levy has reassured fans that there won’t be any de-aging CGI used on the young cast, who are now approximately 5-7 years older than their characters.

Our favorite residents of Hawkins, Indiana, are returning for one more season of Stranger Things, and we cannot wait to find out how things will shake down at the climax of the series. Season 4 ended on a terrifying cliffhanger, and we know things are about to get much, much worse before they get better.

EP Shawn Levy recently sparked some panic by saying, “we’re going to use all the all the tools available to us” to make the cast look like High School freshmen in Stranger Things season 5. But he’s now clarified that he only talking about costumes, hair, and makeup – not CGI de-aging. There will also reportedly be a time jump, meaning these measures won’t really be necessary anyway.

“No,” he insisted to Deadline when asked about using any sort of AI to make the kids look younger. “I kind of was surprised that one sentence I said around this topic traveled so widely. The bottom line is we know what we’re doing on this show. Our cast is brilliant. And these characters that the Duffers have created are so vivid. I’m not worried about everyone suiting back up and bringing them to life.”

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Stranger Things began in 2016, and when the youngest cast members, Noah Schnapp and Millie Bobby Brown, filmed the first season, they were just 11 years old. Fast-forward to the end of 2023, and Caleb McLoughlin is 22, Gaten Matarazzo and Finn Wolfhard are both 21, and Schnapp and Brown are 19.

For older audiences who grew up watching the Grease movies and teen shows such as Dawson’s Creek and The OC, it’s not that big of a deal to see older actors playing teenagers. However, younger audiences are used to more age-appropriate casting in their favorite shows, such as Wednesday and Yellowjackets.

Stranger Things isn’t the only series with a young cast that is delayed by the strikes. Euphoria season 3 is going to contain a bunch of suspiciously mature-looking high schoolers. With Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, and Sydney Sweeney all now playing adults in movies, it will be weird to see them going back to the classroom.

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Season 5 of our favorite Netflix horror series will see our heroes band together to take down Vecna for good after he destroyed half of Hawkins. Everyone is now worried about how Max (Sadie Sink) is going to recover from her own personal encounter with the grumpy red one. Things will surely get gnarly, and let’s hope new cast member Linda Hamilton is on the side of good because if Sarah Connor teams up with Vecna – the Hellfire Club is screwed.

Check out our guides to the best fantasy series and the best sci-fi series. We’re very excited for Wednesday season 2 and hope it won’t be delayed by too long. We’ve had good news about House of the Dragon season 2 recently, and at least we’ll be seeing the Greens and the Blacks go head-to-head in 2024.