Netflix’s Stranger Things has a been a huge hit and, with a second season on the way soon, it looks all set to continue to be one of the most watched show on TV.
Read on, and find out how Stranger Things is closely related to the works of Stephen King and learn some fun facts that you never knew about the Netflix TV show Stranger Things.
Inspired in part by the works of Stephen King, there are many aspects of Stranger Things that will resonate with Stephen King fans. From the small town setting, through the appearance of a monster and the disappearance of young boy, to the gang of young misfits and a girl with telekinetic powers, there are plenty of things in Stranger Things that will give Stephen King fans a dose of Déjà vu.
While some elements of Stranger Things have quite obviously been inspired by Stephen King books, the producers of the show, The Duffer Brothers, readily admit their influences and Stephen King doesn’t seem to mind one bit. In fact, the King of Horror has not only said that he likes the show, he has been actively promoting it on his Twitter account.
Watching STRANGER THINGS is looking watching Steve King's Greatest Hits. I mean that in a good way.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 17, 2016
STRANGER THINGS is pure fun. A+. Don't miss it. Winona Ryder shines.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 18, 2016
For those of you who haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, here’s a trailer for season one of the show. Stephen King fans will feel immediately at home in the small rural town of Hawkins, Indiana, and the font used for the show’s title might look a bit familiar to you too.
Stranger Things is set in the 1980s in the small rural town of Hawkins, Indiana. There is a scientific research laboratory nearby, the Hawkins National Laboratory, that is supposed to be conducting research for the US Department of Energy, but that is just a cover for their real experiments into the supernatural and the paranormal, including experiments in human test subjects. That sets the scene for a whole lot of spooky goings on and some big problems for the residents of Hawkins, and it’s the perfect setting for a great TV show. So, for fans of Stranger Things and for those who have yet to watch it, here is a bunch of fun facts about Stranger Things that you may not have known.
Stranger Things Was Rejected 15 times Before Netflix Went with It
The Duffer Brothers pitched the idea of Stranger Things to fifteen cable companies, but were rejected by all of them. The brothers had a script and 20 page pitch book to sell their idea, but most TV companies said that with children as the leading characters, Stranger Things would never work. Some of the cable companies even suggested that the whole show be changed to focus on the adult characters, but The Duffer Brothers stuck to their guns and eventually Netflix picked up the show and ran with it as it is.
Stranger Things Was Deliberately Made to Look Grainy
MK Ultra Was a Real CIA Project
In Episode 3 of the first season of Stranger Things, the Chief of the Hawkins Police Department is seen examining a microfiche of newspaper clippings, one of which refers to MK Ultra. MK Ultra was a real US project set up by the CIA to investigate mind control. The project involved illegal experimentation on human subjects. Several deaths have been linked to the secret program.
The Design of the Demogorgon Was Influenced by H.R. Giger’s Alien
The design The Demogorgon, the monster from the parallel dimension known as the Upside Down in Stranger Things, was heavily influenced by HR H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph from the Alien movies. This was another deliberate decision by the Duffer Brothers, as it was another way of creating the 80s feel for the show. The Demogorgon was also designed to have an instantly recognisable profile, much in the same way that the Xenomorph does.
The Kid’s in Stranger Things Try to Kill the Monster with a Slingshot, Just like in Stephen King’s It
In the final episode of season one of Stranger Things, when the monster enters the kid’s classroom, Glen tries to kill the creature with a slingshot. The scene was inspired by the scene in Stephen King’s It, when the adult members of the Losers Club try to Kill the spider incarnation of Pennywise with a slingshot loaded with silver.
906 Boys and 307 Girls Were Auditioned to Find the Young Lead Actors
The Producers found some amazing child actors to play the lead parts in Stranger Things, but it wasn’t easy to do. Nine hundred and six boys and Three hundred and seven girls auditioned for the roles of Dustin, Eleven, Mike, Will and Lucas. The Duffer Brothers asked all the actors to read scenes from Stephen King’s Stand by Me as a part of the auditioning proposes. The final selection was the inspired choice of Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp to play the lead roles.
Stranger Things Was Originally Called Montauk
Stranger Things was going to be set in Montauk, New York and the show was inspired in part by Project Montauk, an alleged US government project that is said to have kidnapped children for use in mind control experiments. The Duffer Brothers called the show Montauk to begin with, but after considering many other 80s inspired titles, they settled on Stranger Things, partly because it sounds a lot like Needful Things, as in the title of the Stephen King novel.
The Duffer Brothers Drew on Their Own High School Memories to Write Stranger Things
In Stranger Things, the four high school friends, Mike, Dustin, Will and Lucas are the school geeks who often get bullied. The Duffer Brothers are said to have had similar experiences while at high school and they used that when writing about the four friends in the TV show. There are also marked similarities between the friends in Stranger Things and the Loser Club in Stephen King’s It.
Millie Bobby Brown, the Actor Who Plays Eleven, Wasn’t at All Impressed with Kissing
One of the wonderful things about the casting of Stranger Things is that real child actors have been used to portray children, unlike many shows that expect the viewers to believe that adults are high school kids. The character of Eleven is played by 12 year old Millie Bobby Brown and, when she had her first onscreen kiss, which was also her first ever kiss, she exclaimed that kissing “sucks”.
The Firestarter Connection
In episode three of Stranger Things, Chief Hopper discovers that LSD experiments have been conducted on patients. This is a direct homage by the Duffer Brothers to Stephen Kings Firestarter, in which Charlie’s father is subjected to LSD experiments, much the same way as Eleven’s mother has been in Stranger Things.