Stranger Things is the only legit phenomenon Netflix has produced to date. They’ve had some big series—maybe if Squid Game season two really happens, it could match the fervor of Stranger Things—but nothing that matches the blockbuster heat of Stranger Things, which has made an actual cultural mark in a way nothing else from the streamer has.
Now, Stranger Things is taking a page from the Harry Potter playbook and parlaying its screen success to the stage, with a play called Stranger Things: The First Shadow premiering last night in London’s West End.
The play is produced by The Duffer Brothers, the Adults Twins (suspicious) who created the series, and is written by Kate Trefry and directed by no less a personage than Stephen Daldry. The play is a prequel to the show set in 1959, and centers on a teenaged Hopper and Joyce being Normal Midwest Teens until Something Strange begins happening in Hawkins. Honestly? It’s giving “Riverdale Dungeons & Dragons episode”.
The reviews have been, um, mixed, ranging from “feeling [like] a major hit” to “huge, insufferable embarrassment”. But the series has been devolving in quality with each successive season, and that hasn’t stopped fans from continuing to embrace these characters and this world through increasingly ludicrous plotlines, so I bet the play will end up being a smash hit that will, inevitably, be adapted into a new film or series for Netflix. It’s a money-making machine, baby!
The London premiere brought out the Duffer brothers, Ross and Matt, as well as series stars Matthew Modine and David Harbour, accompanied by his wife, Lily Allen; Heartstopper stars Joe Locke, Corrina Brown, and Tobie Donovan; The Crown star Dominic West; and Jennifer Garner, lately of the Netflix film The Family Switch.
Also, Hugh Jackman and Shawn Levy took a break from Deadpool 3 to turn up, as did James McAvoy. He’s rumored to be among the many cameos in Deadpool 3, reprising his role as young Professor X. Being in the same place at the same time as Shawn Levy, director of Deadpool 3, and Hugh Jackman, most famous X-Man, isn’t going to help put those rumors to rest.