Netflix began to build anticipation earlier today for the highly anticipated third season of Stranger Things with a note-perfect retro promo for the opening of the Starcourt Mall in fictional Hawkins, Indiana. The commercial allow viewers to soak in 1980s fashion and chain stores, and a first look at fan-favorite character Steve Harrington in his new job at Scoops Ahoy, but it also hints at the mall playing a central role in the story.
On top of all of that, the video might have also teased the release date of Season 3. While the ad doesn't end with the announcement of an official date, as we might have expected, it does tease that the Starcourt Mall will be ready by next summer. That's led some to speculate that the new season of Stranger Things may arrive until summer 2019.
When contacted by CBR for clarification, Netflix replied, "We cannot confirm a premiere date for Season 3 at this time but we can pass on this press release from the Mayor of Hawkins."
The response was accompanied by a retro press release from the office of the Mayor of Hawkins, Larry Kline (played in Season 3 by Cary Elwes), who shared in the excitement for the arrival of the Starcourt Mall. The letter covers the same ground as the promo video, while adding a bit more information with the curious mention of the city's business partners at Starcourt Industries -- and the great number of jobs they will bring to Hawkins.
Netflix is clearly having some fun by choosing to remain silent about Season 3. Stranger Things is one of the streaming service's biggest series, and it can certainly afford to be creative with marketing. That shouldn't come as a surprise with the streaming service, who just this year released The Cloverfield Paradox merely hours after announcing the movie during last February's Super Bowl.
A release date of summer 2019 would actually make sense for Stranger Things. The first season of the series actually launched on Netflix almost two years ago to the day, on July 15, 2016. Then, Season 2, which took place around Halloween, debuted 15 months later, on October 27, 2017. While it was assumed that Season 3 would come a year later, for Halloween 2018, it appears we might have a longer wait ahead of us. A return to a July release would then tie into its humble beginnings as a summer series.
Judging by the promo ad, as well as this press release, it seems there is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to the Starcourt Mall and Starcourt Industries.
Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair, Cary Elwes as Mayor Kline, Jake Busey as Bruce, and Maya Thurman-Hawke as the new character, Robin. The first two seasons are available now on Netflix.