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'Stranger Things' Producer Weighs in on Crazy Winona Ryder Theory

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 28: David Harbour and Winona Ryder attend the premiere of Netflix's "Stranger Things" Season 3 on June 28, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Premiere Of Netflix's "Stranger Things" Season 3 - Arrivals | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Stranger Things is a series consumed with attention towards 1980s pop culture, both in its actual plot and in its artistic choices. This is perfectly embodied in the character of Joyce Byers, for instance, played by '80s superstar Winona Ryder. In fact, Ryder’s role as both a character in the series and a fixture of the 1980s has given rise to a wild theory--and this week, Stranger Things’ producer weighed in.

The theory was detailed by Mashable’s Alison Foreman who noted that, with Stranger Things 3 taking place in 1985, the show’s timeline was only one year removed from Ryder’s debut in the 1986 film Lucas. In keeping with the show’s attention to accuracy with its homages to '80s pop culture, it would seem logical for the show to make mention of a film in which Ryder appeared--opening up the possibility of two Joyces factoring into the plot of the Netflix series.

When asked about the possibility, Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy was a bit bemused. "That's really funny, and I suppose it's possible?" he said to Mashable. "We're definitely trying to make the show as quickly as we can. We're not in control of those things, but we don't want to bulls**t about those things."

Levy added that Ryder’s intersection was not something that the team had discussed, but remarked, “Eventually, there will be an interesting new relationship between [the Stranger Things production timeline] and what's going on in the time period we are watching the show in...But as far as how those two timelines will sync up, I can't predict.”

Honestly, reading this theory has left us feeling like we’re in some kind of fever dream. But, we suppose, it’s always interesting to consider how the 1980s culture of the show’s universe and its production intersect--and we’re interested to see more.

This article also appears on Mental Floss.