The Stranger Things season 2 trailer almost didn’t include Michael Jackson’s iconic song, ‘Thriller’. The Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things made its debut on Netflix last summer, and it quickly turned into the season’s biggest phenomenon. Although the streaming service doesn’t reveal viewership numbers, it did reveal that the vast majority of viewers were hooked by the second episode. So, it wasn’t surprising when another season was commissioned and set to debut later this year.
Stranger Things‘ upcoming second season features nine episodes instead of eight, and the creative team plans on laying the groundwork for the series’ eventual conclusion after presumably four or five seasons. Furthermore, the new season aims to take the series in a new, perhaps stranger direction — and people can see that strangeness start to take shape in the first two trailers for season 2, especially the latest one that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 earlier this month.
The first teaser for Stranger Things season 2 debuted during Super Bowl 2017 in February, and it offered just mere glimpses at the upcoming season without giving much away. The first trailer, however, debuted during San Diego Comic-Con 2017 and it gave audiences a lot to ponder over, especially with regard to Will Byers. Although it was an impressive trailer in and of itself, what amplified its intensity was the inclusion of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. However, series producer Shawn Levy recently told io9 that the song almost wasn’t included.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to pull off as a producer. It’s very, very hard, for reasons I won’t go into. We were rejected repeatedly — for months — and a month ago, it was over. And we had another trailer that was being shipped to San Diego [Comic-Con], and it did not have that song. And the [Duffer] Brothers and I would watch it, and it just really ate away at us, ’cause we knew it was a good trailer, but with ‘Thriller,’ it’s next level. And, so, I basically decided to be a massive pain in the a**, and I went back into bull-headed producer mode. And I figured out a way to work out a deal to license ‘Thriller.’ So that was a really happy day — the day we pulled off that licensing arrangement.”
As anyone who works in music licensing, especially when it comes to licensing songs for movie trailers, can attest to, it’s tough to get the song that you want; sometimes you just have to go with something else. Although Levy doesn’t mention what the other song was they were going to use if they weren’t able to license ‘Thriller’, it’s not hard to believe that it was something that released in the early ’80s. After all, Stranger Things season 1 and season 2 take place in 1983 and 1984, respectively.
Stranger Things season 2 was originally scheduled to release on Halloween, but its premiere was recently moved up a few days. Since the series returns in approximately three months, audiences should expect Netflix to kick the show’s marketing into high gear, which means more and more information about the season premiere, such as it having a perplexing start, should start to release.
Stranger Things season 2 premieres on Friday, October 27 on Netflix.