Four seasons in, one of the major appeals of Stranger Things is the nostalgic factor of it all. For audiences of a certain age, the fashion, pop culture, music — and of course the hairstyles — of the 1980s pulls them right back to their childhoods, or in the case of the younger generation gives them a lens into a world they never fully got to experience.
One thing that divides these two generations, and which is particularly pronounced in the age of streaming, is the VHS tape, a staple of 80s and 90s childhoods. In speaking with Collider‘s own Steve Weintraub, the Duffer Brothers revealed their plans for a special edition release of their hit sci-fi horror series. And yes, the answer revolves around VHS tapes.
When asked if they would consider a 4K Blu-ray release of the whole series once it ends, Matt Duffer revealed that he and his brother Ross had other plans, saying: “I want to do a VHS. I want a pan and scan version, of at least Season 1. I just want to try to pan and scan it.” Pan and scan is the method used to convert films — or in this case, series — from the larger theatrical aspect ratio to one more suitable for home viewing on smaller televisions prior to the advent of the widescreen format.
In their comments, the Duffers were nostalgic about the prospect of pan and scan, saying that they would like to give the series the appearance of a VHS, while also hoping to release it in 4K Blu-ray as well. Expressing excitement at the idea of pan and scan, Ross Duffer said:
“Skip the VCR, hit it a couple of times, put it on Netflix. At least the nerd in me loves it, the nostalgic factor. We had our colorist do the opening scene of Season 1 pan and scan for us.”
However, they were quick to point out that this pan and scan version of the show would not be replacing the current high-definition release on Netflix, with Matt Duffer saying:
“[I]t wouldn’t be embedded, it’d be its own separate thing. Like Stranger Things VHS, whatever it is. I’m excited about it, we’ll see if it happens.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Stranger Things has received a nostalgia-focused release. In 2017, Target released a special edition Blu-ray of Season 1 packaged to appear like a VHS inside a slipcase. Perhaps they’ll be able to marry both of their wishes and release their 4K edition of the entire series in a similar, nostalgic format.