‘Stranger Things 5’ Cast Salaries Revealed

Netflix is paying the entire cast upwards of $78 million for the season.

“Stranger Things” has always been a pricy series, with the most recent season last year reportedly totaling a $30 million budget per episode. And although filming for the fifth and final installment has yet to happen, that number will probably increase, thanks in part to the substantial pay increase.

The cast of “Stranger Things” closed their deals for the salaries of the fifth and final season. And while the total salaries of the cast for the season aren’t clear, it’s hovering comfortably around the $80 million mark.

The 20 strong cast went into negotiations together, with the exception of Millie Bobby Brown, who did not take part in discussions due to her existing overall deal with Netflix that spawned the “Enola Holmes” films and her starring role in the Russo Brother’s upcoming film “The Electric State.” Netflix then divided the cast into “tiers,” with the actors receiving the same salary for the season as the others in their tier.

Winona Ryder and David Harbour are on the first tier, mainly because Ryder was far and away the biggest name on the show when it launched and made stars out of the rest of the cast. They will receive a $9.5 million paycheck for the season, a substantial hike from their $2.8 million salaries in Season 3.

How much do the Stranger Things 5’ Cast earn? | Salaries revealed

The second tier consists of the four actors who served as the initial leads of the show: Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard, along with Sadie Sink, whose status as the breakout star of the show’s most recent fourth season presumably gave her the clout necessary to lobby for the tier. They will receive salaries of a little over $7 million. In the first season, the kids — then roughly 12 to 13 — received $25,000 per episode, for a total of $200,000 for the entire season.

The third tier consists of the actors playing the young adults and older teens, including Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Maya Hawke, who will receive a little over $6 million for the season. The fourth tier consists of the rest of the cast — including Brett Gelman, Priah Ferguson, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Cara Buono — whose salaries were not included in will be paid “much less” than the cast members in the other tiers.

Of course, “Stranger Things” isn’t by any means the most expensive cast that’s ever been on TV. For “Game of Thrones” Season 8 in 2019, the show’s five leading stars — Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — received a reported $1.2 million per episode for the eight-episode season, for a total $9.6 million. Going further back, in 2003 and 2004, the six principal cast members of “Friends” received $22 million each for their work on the 10th and final season, at a rate of $1 million per episode.

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Part of the reason for the significant increase in salaries was due to the negotiating teams arguing that Netflix didn’t have the original stars under contract because deals for the show from 2015 violated California’s seven-year rule, which prohibits personal services contracts from lasting beyond seven years. All previous renegotiations reportedly added to the initial deals rather than resulting in new contracts. Netflix disputed the argument but gave a significant increase in offers.

Although Season 5 will reportedly consist of eight episodes, which MarkMeets.com exclusively revealed jast year, the “Stranger Things” actor’s contracts will pay them for 10 episodes, so the per-episode fee comes down and allows the company wiggle room in negotiations for the per-episode fees of other shows. In addition, it acts as a cushion if the season again goes extremely long on episodes; part of the payments for the season is reportedly in compensation for the long shoots of Season 4, which aired several episodes hovering around the 90-minute mark and a 150-minute finale.

Stranger Things season 5 potential release date: When is Stranger Things season 5 on Netflix?

So, we have some good news and some bad news – we know that Stranger Things season five is on its way, but we just don’t know exactly *when* that will be.

At the time of season four volume two’s release, the team had yet to begin filming the final episodes, and there was one miiiighty gap between seasons three and four.

Granted, there was that whole pandemic situation to contend with, but it still took them the best part of three years – with season three dropping in July 2019 and season four not starting until June 2022.

However, with the cast getting older by the day (and still needing to be seen as teenagers despite hitting their 20s and 30s), you can bet the show will want to get into action on the final season sooner rather than later.

Shortly after the release of volume two in July 2022, the Duffers revealed in an interview that the writers’ room phase of pre-production hadn’t started yet either – though they had laid out a plan during the course of making season four.

“We’re going to take a little vacation in July, and then we’re going to come back. I know that the writer’s room is going to start in that first week of August,” Ross confirmed.

Judging by the official Stranger Things writers’ Twitter page, the vacation is over for the Duffer brothers (or at the very least the show’s writing teams), who have confirmed that they’re back at work with this sort-of-revealing pic.

In the image posted there is a whiteboard with notes jotted in sections. The caption of the image reads “Grid complete.”

“The success of Season 1 freaked us out and then we knew we needed to build up this bigger world, that this was going to be ongoing,” “That meant prep for Season 2 included filling up a whiteboard with every idea the writers’ room could imagine.”

“But it was way too much — [five times] more ideas than we needed, or [ten times]. For Season 5, we’re pulling from a lot of those big Season 2 ideas… A lot of our big ending stuff has pulled from stuff that we thought was going to be in Season 2.”

But those who are spoiler-cautious need not worry. The image is too blurred to be discernible.

It is assumed that this post is referring to the storyboard for season five which suggests that the bare bones have been fleshed out and fans are closer to a fully-formed story. When that will arrive on the streaming service is, of course, still TBC.

With this in mind, as well as the astronomical amount of post-production involved, we would hedge our bets that we’ll be seeing Stranger Things back at some point in 2024.

This theory has also been backed by actor David Harbour, who suggested the same time frame.

Stranger Things season 5 cast: Who is in Stranger Things season 5?

There is still an absolutely jam-packed list of major characters to keep track of in the upcoming season, with all the actors involved more than likely to return.

In the kids group, there’s:

• Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)
• Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)
• Noah Schnapp (Will Byers)
• Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair)
• Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson)
• Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield)
• Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair)

Then there’s the Stranger Things own version of a babysitters’ club, with the elders of the group being:

• Joe Keery (Steve Harrington)
• Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley)
• Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler)
• Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)
• Eduardo Franco (Argyle)

Finally, there’s the main adults and parents of the group:

• David Harbour (Jim Hopper)
• Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)
• Bret Gelman (Murray)
• Tom Wlaschiha (Dmitri)

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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