Netflix Wanted ‘Stranger Things’ To Avoid The Problem ‘Game Of Thrones’ Had With Child Actors By Changing Its Production

We’re about a month away from the premiere of Stranger Things season two and Netflix is doing their best to promote their big hit in some interesting ways. These nostalgia drenched posters that have been released alongside the official account’s rewatch of the first season are a fantastic way to keep the buzz about the show going, and it is one of three Netflix series to make a run for best dramatic series at this Sunday’s Emmy Awards. If it can walk away with a win, you’d have to think the promotional blitz will kick into overdrive, possibly overwhelming us with Stranger Things products and t-shirts for the next decade.

That said, the network does have its concerns about the series going forward. They want to capture the success in a bottle and make it last, but face an issue that plagued other series in the past: the ages of their child actors. The Stranger Things kids are right on the cusp of puberty, landing in that area where the changes they’ll naturally be going through doesn’t necessarily jibe with the stories on the television series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix did what they could to try to avoid this, even trying to push the series into changing its production a bit:

A source with knowledge of the Stranger Things world says Netflix had hoped to shoot seasons three and four back-to-back to get ahead of any potentially awkward adolescent transitions for its young actors. “Every time you have a show that relies so heavily on the charm of kids, you want to capture that,” says this person.

But the powers involved — including, of course, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer and executive producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen — are said to have vetoed that idea. The writers room is small, as is the roster of producers, and a source says they did not deem it possible to turn out episodes that quickly. (All declined to comment.) Instead, says the source, the plan is to create stories that feel true to where the actors are, in terms of age, at the time the episodes are shot.

While you can’t blame the streaming giant from wanting to keep the show’s more adorable side intact, it’s likely a good thing for the story and production crew that this was shot down. Something similar happened with Game Of Thrones during the lead up to its third season when the series was planning to jump around within the original book’s timeline and split it across a few seasons according to Vulture:

Producer D.B. Weiss has stated that the show runs on a twelve-month production cycle, and that it’s “really all we can do to do 10 of them in a year,” which means the show won’t be doubling up by shooting two seasons at once. Thus, by the time the show starts getting into A Feast of Crows territory, actress Maisie Williams will be 17. Five years will have elapsed in actual time since the show started, but only about a year and change will have transpired in Westeros time.

While Game Of Thrones easily made it past this issue, mostly thanks to the show having a few more things to focus on than its younger actors, the same might not be true for Stranger Things. That said, there is also no reason a time jump couldn’t happen or some sort of trickery to accommodate any odd changes that might pop up during production. Let’s just hope that none of it happens right in the middle of an episode.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter / Vulture)