It’s almost time to climb into our DeLoreans and travel back in time for another nostalgia-filled season of Stranger Things. In the Netflix series’ second outing, we will revisit the early ‘80s, one year after the “Upside Down” was first opened and young Will Byers disappeared. But while it’s clear "when" all of this takes place, the “where” is a little more confusing.
The first season of the hit show kicked off on Nov. 6, 1983, when kids started vanishing after researchers from the Hawkins National Laboratory accidentally opened up an alternate dimension — and unleashed its scary monster. The setting for all of this is alluded to in the name of the lab, as Will and the rest of his pals all live in the fictional Midwestern town of Hawkins, IN. This rural backdrop is yet another piece of nostalgia, as the supernatural flick, Close Encounters of the Third Kind — said to be inspiration for the show — is also partially set in Indiana.
Season 2 will return to Hawkins around Halloween 1984, and will dig deeper into the reason for Will's disappearance. And now that we’re used to this setting, it’s hard to imagine the Dungeons & Dragons-loving crew living anywhere else — but that was almost the case. According to Variety, the original title for the show was Montauk for the Long Island beach town in which the story originally took place.
Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer explained ahead of the first season that they first wanted a coastal town for their throwback series. This would've been a nod to yet another Steven Spielberg movie: Jaws. “We were excited about the idea of doing something coastal,” Ross told The A.V. Club. “Probably our favorite movie of all time is Jaws, and Montauk is one of the bases for Amity, so I think that’s where that idea came from.”
Unfortunately, due to logistics, it was "necessary for production reasons to set this not in a coastal town.” In fact, production issues dictated that they couldn't even film in the Midwest. Instead, most of the show is shot in the (still landlocked) Atlanta suburbs. Many TV shows — The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Dynasty — and movies — the entire Marvel universe — have been shooting in the Georgia city, thanks to the state’s tax incentives. Hey, it looks like Indiana to us!