The Stranger Things universe is expanding with a stage play that will also serve as an origin story of sorts for the Netflix series. Titled The First Shadow, it will premiere at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End sometime in late 2023.
The First Shadow takes place in Hawkins, Indiana roughly 25 years before the events of Stranger Things. The official logline reads as follows: “Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously, and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.”
Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers will serve as creative producers as part of their Upside Down Pictures production company. Directed by Stephen Daldry with Justin Martin, the play was written by Kate Trefry, a writer and co-executive producer for the TV series.
“Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt,” Matt and Ross Duffer shared in a statement. “You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won’t — it’s more fun to discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!”
Register for priority access to the stage play here.
The two-part Season 4 of Stranger Things aired last summer. Not only did it have the show’s best villain yet, but it also made a rising star out of actor Joe Quinn thanks to his breakout character Eddie Munson and fueled major resurgences for both Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Metallica’s “Master of the Puppets.”
There’s no premiere date for the fifth and final season as of yet, but David Harbour has already said he feels like “it’s definitely time” for the series to end. However, Stranger Things fans can rest assured there’s a live-action serialized spinoff in the works — though it will see the Duffers “pass the baton” to a new creative team.