‘Stranger Things’ Producer Shawn Levy Says Production Won’t Use AI To De-Age Actors In Season 5

The final season of Stranger Things is still on pause, but even as the principal cast gets older, executive producer Shawn Levy doesn’t think the team will need to go to any extreme lengths to de-age them.

Levy, who also directed two pivotal Season 4 episodes, recently suggested that the producers would do whatever they could to make the kids’ aging seem less apparent, because it will have been several years since the previous season wrapped production.

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However, in an interview with Deadline, he clarified that he didn’t mean to suggest any computer-generated assistance.

“No,” he insisted when asked about any using any sort of AI to make the kids look younger. “I kind of was surprised that one sentence I said around this topic traveled so widely. The bottom line is, we know what we’re doing on this show. Our cast is brilliant. And these characters that the Duffers have created are so vivid. I’m not worried about everyone suiting back up and bringing them to life.”

Stranger Things 5 is one of many of productions that came to a halt in May, when the writers went on strike. That makes it the second season of the series with significant delays after the fourth installment was shut down for months in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

October marked three years since filming began on Stranger Things 4, and a production timeline for the final season remains unknown, as it is still on hold while SAG-AFTRA negotiates a contract to end its own 111-day strike.

Even once the strike ends, it could take some time to get the production underway. Levy told Deadline that the entire team is “chomping at the bit” to get back up and running.

“The thing that people just need to remember is, we who make the show are fans of the show, too,” he said. “And you better believe we want to stick the landing.”

When the actors strike ends, Levy will have his hands full between Stranger Things and Deadpool 3, which was about halfway through production when things came to a halt in July. Try as one might to plan for the eventual, the executive producer and director added that things are still very much up in the air.

“I have seen so many calendars on every production, and each one of them gets ripped up, because we’re all guessing at when our industry will resume production,” he said. “So, I just am going to find a way to give all of these projects that means so much to me, all of myself. I’m not going to half ass any of it.”

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