The Duffer Brothers, creators of Netflix smash Stranger Things, announced plans for a Stranger Things spinoff series, though they did not provide details. Matt and Ross Duffer also revealed plans for a stage play “set within the world and mythology of Stranger Things,” produced by Sonia Friedman, Stephen Daldry and Netflix, according to the streamer.
The Duffer Brothers announced a new production company, Upside Down Pictures, for film and TV projects as part of their overall deal with Netflix. Hilary Leavitt will run the company. In Stranger Things, the grim underworld resting below Hawkins, Indiana, is known as the Upside Down.
Upside Down Pictures will “aim to create the kind of stories that inspired the Duffers growing up — stories that take place at that beautiful crossroads where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, where big spectacle co-exists with intimate character work, where heart wins out over cynicism,” Netflix said.
“It didn’t take long into our first meeting with Hilary, where we bonded over films like Jaws, Home Alone and Speed, to know we had found a kindred spirit,” said the Duffer brothers. “Hilary’s passion for storytelling is perhaps matched only by her passion for the storytellers themselves, for whom she is fiercely protective. No wonder so many writers and directors are drawn to working with her. She is a rare talent indeed, and we feel extremely grateful to have her at our side as we build Upside Down Pictures.”
The brothers and Netflix are also at work on a TV adaptation of anime series Death Note, an original series from Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews and a series based on the Stephen King-Peter Straub novel The Talisman.
In the season four finale of Stranger Things, Lucas reads The Talisman to Max when she’s in the hospital.
“Matt and Ross are an exceptionally unique talent with a vision so crisp and clear,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said. “They are all about the details — it’s no accident that Stranger Things has pierced the zeitgeist to become the epic pop-culture phenomenon it is today. We’re excited to continue telling new stories with them as they grow Upside Down Pictures and to welcome Hilary as creative partner.”
Before Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers directed the horror film Hidden and were executive producers on Wayward Pines. Stranger Things premiered in 2016. ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.