Following a successful round of talks with Netflix, the Stranger Things cast is allegedly receiving an amazing salary boost for the upcoming season 5 of the show. When Stranger Things season 4 came on Netflix last year, it shook up the globe with its gripping episodes that were jam-packed with horror elements—possibly more so than any other season of the show. With most of the season’s nine episodes clocking in at approximately 75 minutes and the major season finale being a true movie with a runtime that nearly reached 2 hours and 30 minutes, the new season of Stranger Things also stood out owing to the movie length of its episodes.
The Stranger Things actors banded together to renegotiate their contracts for the show’s last season, according to a thorough article from Puck. The lengthy cast of Stranger Things 5 was reportedly divided into four levels by Netflix during the negotiations. Tier 1 ($9.5 million) includes Winona Ryder and David Harbour, the show’s adult stars; Tier 2 (just over $7 million) includes the four boys— Noah Schnapp, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Finn Wolfhard—plus Sadie Sink, who argued for Max’s inclusion in the series and was added here; Tier 3 (just over $6 million) features the remaining main stars, including Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, Maya Hawke, and Charlie.
These salaries, while impressive, are not the highest in television history
While Netflix is maintaining the math as diluted by 10 episodes to help with future talks on other programs, the Stranger Things season 5 wages give the cast millions of dollars for the 8-episode final season. Comparing the relative fees to other well-known rewards from programs with popularity comparable to Stranger Things, they are rather modest. The Big Bang Theory’s cast, whose unified front while renegotiating contracts became well-known, received $900,000 per episode during the show’s last season for a staggering $21.6 million for the full season 12.
Another comparison that may be drawn is to the HBO series Game of Thrones, whose top actors received $500,000 for each episode, placing it below Stranger Things. The cast fees for the Netflix series, however, aren’t even close to the biggest TV pay ever, like Charlie Sheen’s $1.8 million per episode on Two and a Half Men or Chris Pratt’s $1.4 million per episode on The Terminal List.
Vecna, the show’s biggest adversary yet, will need to be eliminated in the final season of Stranger Things. Considering the length of the episodes and Vecna’s diversity of abilities, Stranger Things season four needed a significant amount of special effects to work. Given that Netflix will be spending a huge sum of money before filming even a single shot of the final season, the large compensation the cast has renegotiated for Stranger Things season 5 demonstrates that the streaming service means business. With Netflix having so much faith in Stranger Things season 5, viewers can relax knowing it will have the resources necessary to provide the satisfying conclusion that Netflix’s most popular show deserves.