Word that Stranger Things 3 would wait until 2019 has us all upside down, but there may be good news yet. Season 3 of the breakout Netflix drama is largely mapped out, including new “forces of evil” and slim hope that fewer episodes might keep a 2018 premiere in play.

Even as Stranger Things Season 3 production isn’t likely to get off the ground until April, executive producer Shawn Levy had some encouraging tidbits to share with Glamour of the work already complete. For one – the magazine’s copy suggested a premiere could take place in “late 2018 or early 2019,” as Levy noted “If we could make it [return] faster, then we would. But we’re going to make it well. We’re going to do it right.” Perhaps more pressingly, Levy also suggested that Season 3 might return to the eight-episode count of the first year, depending on their episodic story needs:

It’ll be an eight- or nine-episode season. The number of episodes will be dictated by the amount of story that excites us. We now know what is going to happen in season three to every character.

Ominous as that sounds, Levy also noted that Will Byers would get something of a break this year, while fans shouldn’t read too heavily into Hopper or Dustin inhaling any Upside Down gunk. “You might assume that,” the producer hinted, “but you would probably end up being wrong. We’re [going to be] dealing with forces of evil that are new.” The shape or identity of those forces remains unclear, as the Duffer brothers have previously suggested that Season 2’s “Mind Flayer” monster will remain the overall big bad going forward.

Also uncertain is whether Paul Reiser will reprise his role as Dr. Owens, but stay tuned for the latest Stranger Things 3 details as we get closer to a spring production date.

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