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Stranger Things Producer Reveals The Truth Behind Splitting Season 4 Into Two Parts

The fourth season of "Stranger Things" is already a runaway hit for Netflix following its debut on Friday, May 27, pulling in record viewing numbers for the streaming platform over Memorial Day weekend. The show has also continued its winning streak with both critics and fans, garnering an extremely positive rating of 94% critical rating and 91% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The latest chapter of the Netflix show not only evolves the world it's set in and pushes its characters to new places but develops its horror and science fiction elements even further. The introduction of the villainous Vecna character sees the otherwordly creature quickly become not only a focal point of the plot but a major antagonist, too.

"Stranger Things 4" is also unique with its approach to the release schedule for this season. Split into two separate volumes, the first consists of seven episodes, all of which were released on May 27. Soon, Volume 2 will be added to Netflix on July 1 and will include the remaining two episodes. Notably, all Season 4 episodes will run over the traditional one-hour mark.

Some fans may wonder what the logic is behind holding back two episodes from fans, especially since no other season of "Stranger Things" has ever attempted such a thing (not to mention, that cliffhanger ending has us on tenterhooks). However, a key "Stranger Things" creative has recently revealed the exact reasoning behind the decision to split Season 4 into two volumes — and it totally makes sense.

There was concern all Season 4 episodes wouldn't be done in time for the premiere

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "Stranger Things" producer and director Shawn Levy revealed the behind-the-scenes thinking that went into splitting Season 4 into two separate volumes. Apparently, it all comes down to a belief from the creative and production teams that nine full episodes would not have been ready for the May 27 release date. However, instead of opting to make fans wait even longer, they decided it was better to release seven episodes on the promised date and then hold back the final two in order to finish whatever work needed to be done.

Elaborating on exactly what needed work still, Levy told THR, "This season relies on next-level visual effects and world-building, and as you can imagine, Volume 2 is very ambitious in its storytelling, and we need a little more time to finish strong." While, at first, this might seem like some strange(r) logic, it makes more sense with some context. The final two episodes of Season 4 of "Stranger Things" will be even more supersized than most of the episodes in Volume 1. Episode 8 clocks in at 1 hour and 25 minutes, and Episode 9 hits an astronomical length of around 2 hours and 30 minutes (per Entertainment Weekly).

Considering these are both movie-length episodes, it makes sense that the "Stranger Things" team would need more time to get things finished. This is especially true when one looks at how long the episodes in Volume One are. Honestly, it's more surprising that fans won't have to wait longer than a month for Volume 2.