We just finished watching “Stranger Things 2” with Poppy last night. She was thoroughly invested and love the show, and when it was over she had one question: “What are they going to do next season?” And Rockford, of course, had an answer, because he’s a pop culture junkie. Here’s what he thinks is going to happen in “Stranger Things 3.”
So, I think they’ll use ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘The Goonies’ and potentially ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ as influences, because those were all top movies in 1985. ‘Back to the Future’ from a characterization standpoint seems to fit the Steve model. Marty McFly is well-intentioned but kind of clueless. So maybe Steve has a story arc that involves some time travel or just where he meets a crazy old guy. Since he’ll be going off to college, that would seem like a natural way to introduce a wacky professor — his own Mr. Clark, maybe. If there are two movies from the ’80s that best describe this crew, it’s ‘Explorers’ and ‘The Goonies.’ Both of those movies came out in 1985, so we should see more clear connections and references to those. And then with Mad Max, we’ve already had the scene where Max was driving the muscle car. If they continue with that thematically, it may be that she has to go through some tests and rigors of her own to lead them through some challenge.”
The video games that will probably be the most influential will be Super Mario Bros, Ghosts and Goblins and Gauntlet, which is more of a D&D style. Those were all popular in 1985, and they all seem to fit the dynamic. We could see more subterranean stuff with the pipes and the sewers. ‘Gauntlet’ is a fantasy-themed quest-style game that involves mages and warriors and warrior princesses, so it seems like something they would enjoy. And ‘Ghosts and Goblins’ just seems to fit the overall theme of questing through different areas infested by monsters. It would seem to fit the Upside-Down.
I think we can also expect to hear a soundtrack featuring some Tears For Fears, some Jesus and Mary Chain, Talking Heads, probably some New Order. Given Jonathan’s propensity for ‘edgier’ music, that was also when Sonic Youth was just releasing their first albums. Maybe some Simple Minds.
And then there’s the overarching ‘Breakfast Club,’ which was also 1985. We’ve already had a John Hughes movie referenced (“Mr. Mom,” who ended up being Steve). And now we’ve got ‘The Breakfast Club.’ You’ve got Steve as The Jock, Jonathan as The Nerd, Nancy as The Princess, and Billy as The Criminal, which suggests that they might introduce a new teen character to fill the role of the Basket Case. Maybe they’ll bring in Kali for that, but my guess is we’ll get a new female character to play off of Billy or a new love interest for Steve. If you remember, The Jock and The Basketcase did end up together in ‘The Breakfast Club.’
We also saw Paul Reiser (who was in the ‘Alien’ movies) and Sean Astin (‘Goonies,’ obviously) this season. Maybe we can look forward to Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez or Michael J. Fox next season?
While I’d love to see just a straight-up remake of “Back to the Future” with Joe Keery, I think it’s more likely that we’ll just see Steve in a puffy orange vest than actually heading back to the ’60s. I think Rockford’s “Breakfast Club” casting connection has some potential, though. What do you expect from season three?