Netflix really knows how to commit to a theme and it went full Halloween for the “Stranger Things 2” premiere, transforming a corner of Westwood into Hawkins, Ind. Invited guests headed into the movie theater, re-named the Hawk Theatre for the occasion, and passed an Eggo waffle truck and waitresses dressed in yellow Eggo uniforms.
The jam-packed red carpet was within earshot of screaming fans lining the streets to get glimpses of cast members Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, and Matthew Modine along with series newcomers Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, and Paul Reiser.
As the cast made their way down the press line, they were on message about the new season, agreeing that it’s bigger, darker, more mysterious, and even more exciting. Executive producer Shawn Levy reiterated his trademark phrase that Season 2 is “the season of Schnapp” and the Duffer brothers raved that the young star “knocked it out of the park” in his portrayal of Will, who returned from the Upside Down at the end of Season 1.
“Stranger Things 2” is now streaming on Netflix and for fans who need even more strangeness, Netflix has joined the aftershow trend, offering “Beyond Stranger Things,” hosted by actor-writer and “Stranger Things” superfan Jim Rash. One caveat though: the Duffer brothers and the cast warned fans to watch the seven-episode talk show after binging the new season as spoilers are discussed.
Inside the theater, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos greeted the crowd by running a slideshow of “Stranger Things” fans from around the world, including Manila, Berlin, Tokyo, and Sydney. A video greeting from co-star David Harbour followed.
After watching the first two episodes of the new season on the big screen, guests made their way to the UCLA campus where a 1984 Hawkins county fair was set up, offering corn dogs, funnel cakes, fresh donuts, and cocktails such as the UpCider Down, the Maple Bourbon Bone Chiller, and Pumpkin Ale.