Stranger Things has been available to stream on Netflix since 4 July and has already broken viewing records.
The 80s-inspired sci-fi drama about a group of middle school kids and their families in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, is back with a third instalment. Reportedly, more than 18 million people have watched all eight episodes.
As the gang need to solve supernatural mysteries involving rabid rats, Russian scientists and bodysnatchers, the new season also introduces its first-ever queer character.
One of the new Hawkins residents, in fact, comes out in a moving scene.
But fans are speculating over the possibility that one of the major characters could also be gay or bisexual. And now two cast members have weighed in on the conversation to clarify what that dialogue that got fans talking really meant.
*Warning: spoilers for Stranger Things season three ahead*
LGBTI representation in Stranger Things
New character Robin (Maya Hawke) comes out as a lesbian to her colleague at the ice cream parlor and fan-favorite Steve (Joe Keery).
However, this season seems to have dropped a huge hint at one of the major character’s sexuality.
After being abducted and possessed in the first two seasons, Will Byers, portrayed by Noah Schnapp, has to deal with more earthly matters. In this season, Will has a hard time adjusting to his best friends getting girlfriends.
A scene of episode seven, The Case Of The Missing Lifeguard, sheds new light on Will’s sexuality.
After snapping at his friends for talking about their girlfriends through a game of D&D, Will storms out.
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) follows him out in an attempt to try and make up to him. But things escalate quickly.
Is Will gay?
‘It’s not my fault you don’t like girls,’ Mike says to a visibly upset Will.
In recent interviews, Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp shed new light on that scene.
Wolfhard claims that that particular line isn’t as clear-cut as he was asked to deliver several variants of it.
‘There were a lot of different versions of that scene,’ he told The Hollywood Reporter.
‘We tried, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls yet”. I don’t even know if it had to do with Will’s sexuality; I think Mike was just mad and listing off a genuine fact that he’s not interested.’
Wolfhard acknowledged that showrunning duo the Duffer Brothers have options for Will’s character development.
He continued: ‘I guess we’ll see what it really meant, but it’s all up to the Duffers and what they want to do.’
That Stranger Things scene is ‘up to interpretation’
Schnapp also said that the scene ‘is really up to interpretation’.
‘I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet,’ the actor explained in an interview with The Wrap.
‘He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.’