"Stranger Things" is more than just a supernatural thriller. It has become a pop culture phenomenon over the years. Now, director-producer Shawn Levy wants to take the nostalgia-inducing blend of horror and thrill to the big screen. But he is not in a hurry.
Back in 2016, The Duffer Brothers brought the science-fiction horror drama alive, with a bonanza of nostalgic 1970s and 1980s references. The third season of the Netflix show went live earlier this month.
"Perhaps it would be fun to make a movie out of 'Stranger Things' one day, but we are in no rush as essentially Netflix is allowing to make mini movies with every episode," he said in an email interview.
"For me, the thrilling part of Season 3 is that it truly feels like a movie. The scope of the action and spectacle, while still keeping the emotional depth of each character, is highly cinematic," Levy told to a publication in an exclusive interview.
Created by Matt and Ross Duffer, the horror show is set in the fictional town of Hawkins. It follows the story of four friends Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) as they form an unlikely alliance with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to save their town from alien invasion.
The show has grown big with time. But for Levy, who has played an integral role in "Stranger Things" as a producer and sometimes as a director, he says his biggest fear is getting complacent.
"Our biggest fear is complacency. The Duffers and I go into every new season determined not to repeat ourselves and to be true to the DNA of our show, while also taking our audience to a level they haven't yet been.
"Certainly, cultural reaction to our show affects some of our thinking but more often than not, we trust the inner voice — which is the Duffers voice — to chart our path," said Levy, who got global success with his "Night at the Museum" franchise, "Date Night", "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Real Steel".
Along with the thrill, the makers are also focusing on how their friendship is evolving, complexities of love and life as they grow up.
Talking about the third season, Levy said: "I think the magic of Season 3 is that, although the show has grown to a bigger and darker level, it remains anchored in the characters and relationships we introduced in Season 1.
"No matter how much we are determined to take each season to the next level, we never forget who we are as a show and the fact that we live and breathe in the emotional lives of our beloved characters."
But watching the child actors grow up is "slightly heart-breaking".
"Watching these young actors grow up is a bit like watching my own daughters mature — exciting but also slightly heart-breaking," said the father of four.
"That said, it's thrilling to watch their talents mature, and our bond is deeper than ever because we've all shared the unique and once in a lifetime ride of 'Stranger Things' together," he added.