“Stranger Things” executive producer and director Shawn Levy is addressing fan theories about Will Byers’ (Noah Schnapp) sexuality, a question first raised in Season 3 and seemingly inching toward a conclusive answer this year. “There are many accidents” on the show, he told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Monday.
Fans first started wondering if Will was gay following a particular interaction between him and Mike (Finn Wolfhard). After the two bickered about the latter’s closeness with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike retorted, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls!”
“It’s not specific to sexual orientation or anything,” Levy, who directed that third-season episode, said. However, he added, “Ever since then, a lot of these questions have come up.”
Indeed they have. Subtle hints have seemingly been dropped throughout Season 4 Volume 1, whether through Will’s supposed pining looks after Mike or his particularly self-righteous anger at El’s lying to him about his high school experience. Thus far, the most convincing evidence to suggest Will is in love with Mike is a moment the pair shares where Will’s words may have a double meaning.
“Sometimes I think it’s just scary to open up like that, to say how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most, because what if they don’t like the truth?” Will says in Episode 5, after the two — along with Argyle (Eduardo Franco) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) — flee certain death.
Addressing the theories, Levy was reticent to give a clear answer but maintained that plot decisions are not made lightly.
“Without getting into where we go later in Season 4 [Volume 2], I guess I’ll just say that there aren’t many accidents on ‘Stranger Things,'” he said. “There is clear intention and strategy and real thought given to each and every character. So, if you came away from Volume 1 feeling those bread crumbs of plot and character, it’s probably no accident.”
Previously, Schnapp spoke to TheWrap about the speculation, saying, “It’s really up to interpretation. While all the characters were out developing and growing up, Will was in the Upside Down and he was alone there, not interacting with or connected to his friends or the rest of the world. And when he got back, he expected everything to just go back to how it was before, how it was when he was normal and when he was a kid and he wanted to go back to the basement and play D&D.”
In a recent promo video shared on Netflix Mexico’s Instagram account, the cast discussed fan theories, including one that posited a secret relationship between El and Will that would lead to a rift between the group. “If you’ve been watching the show you should know that Will is not interested in El,” David Harbor said, eliciting knowing chuckles from Wolfhard. “He’s interested in someone else in the group.”
Wolfhard teased that the audience would “see soon” who that person was, with Harbor adding, “He’s very interested.”