×

Remote Controlled: ‘Stranger Things’ Creators Duffer Brothers on Going ‘Big’ in Season 2

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Matt and Ross Duffer, creators of Netflix’s runaway hit series, “Stranger Things.”

They’ve just returned from Atlanta, where they were filming Season 2, which they promise is “big in scope.”

The brothers addressed the pressure going into the second season, given that the first was an overnight success. “There was pressure going into Season 1, too,” says Ross. “We were just worried no one was going to watch it. Now the pressure is we know people are going to watch it. It’s trying to make something that we think they’re going to like. … We’ve tried in the writers’ room to go, ‘Okay, what do we want to see?’ And hopefully people will respond to that as well.”

Adds Matt, “A lot of the story for Season 2 was figured before the show had come out, so we had the big beats figured out already. It was almost scarier last year.”

The reaction to the first season took them by surprise, but they took pains to make sure that that didn’t impact their approach to the writing of Season 2. “Some of the stuff that fans had been asking for, we wanted the same stuff,” says Matt. Adds Ross, “But the point is not to give everyone what they think they want. Because I don’t think they really know what they want.”

What they learned the most from the first season was about the strengths of their actors. “We don’t have the element of surprise on our side this time, but we execute it better,” says Ross. “But I think we screwed up less this year.”

Naturally, they were reluctant to give away any spoilers. But they did allow that Millie Bobby Brown will, of course, be back (“We let her hair grow out”), that Season 2 will be centered around Noah Schnapp’s Will, and that new monsters will be introduced. “Hiding the monsters can be more effective than seeing it, so restraint can be a good thing,” admits Ross. Adds Matt, “I can’t talk too much about them, but they’re cool.”

And of course, there will be some recognition of dearly departed Barb. While she is still in fact dead, “There’s no resurrecting Barb,” they admit. “It was really surprising how much she took off,” Matt says. “I related to her, so I think other people did as well.

You can listen to this week’s episode here:

New episodes of Remote Controlled are available every Friday, and you can find past episodes of Remote Controlled here.

More TV

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Cuts Premiums by 50% Due to Coronavirus Crisis

    The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan has cut 50% from the cost of premiums for the second quarter in response to the coronavirus crisis. SAG-AFTRA members were notified of the reduction on Wednesday via a message from SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White. They said the cuts would cover participants who had been [...]

  • Adam Schlesinger

    Tom Hanks, Rachel Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Stephen King Pay Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    Whether it was the snarky but sincere pop of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, the ‘60s retro of Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do!” or the Broadway fare of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Adam Schlesinger’s music reached far beyond his public profile. The master songwriter passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 52 from complications related [...]

  • Aline Brosh Mckenna Adam Schlesinger

    'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Co-Creator Aline Brosh McKenna Pays Touching Tribute to Adam Schlesinger

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna paid a touching tribute to Adam Schlesinger on Twitter after the Emmy-winning songwriter and singer died Wednesday from coronavirus complications. Brosh McKenna took to the social media platform to fondly recall a moment from the writer’s room, “One day, when Adam, Rachel (Bloom) and Jack (Dolgen) were working, we [...]

  • Rick and Morty HBO Max

    Adult Swim Announces 'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Return Date

    Adult Swim has announced that the second half of Season 4 of “Rick and Morty” will premiere on May 3 at 11:30 p.m. The announcement was made today alongside a new trailer for the season’s remaining five episodes. Set to the upbeat chant of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” the footage offers [...]

  • Jason Kilar

    New WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar on His Vision for the Future of Media

    By tapping Jason Kilar — the co-founder of Hulu and an Amazon veteran — to be its new CEO, AT&T-owned WarnerMedia is sending a signal that its future will be streamed. In a conversation with Variety just hours after the announcement, Kilar himself says as much. Kilar has known AT&T COO and current WarnerMedia CEO [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content