Charlie Heaton responds to viewers saying his Stranger Things character has been ‘sidelined’ in season 4

Fans have complained that Heaton’s character Jonathan, along with Mike and Will, have significantly less screentime in the new season

Stranger Things Season 4

Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton has addressed speculation that his character has been “sidelined” in the new season.

Season four of the hit show returned to Netflix this week, with many critics noting how the individual character arcs mean that less time is spent with each.

Fans have also complained on social media that favourites including Jonathan (Heaton), Will (Noah Schapp) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) appear to have considerably less screentime.

“I don’t understand. Stranger Things 4 is really great but why have Mike, Will and Jonathan done nothing this season?” one fan asked on Twitter. “Mike still has some storyline but Jonathan and Will have entirely been sidelined. Do you even remember Will from season 2? Like how do you sideline that?”

Another tweeted: “This season has been very disappointing. They completely sidelined main characters to give the guest roles long and boring monologue screen time and they had hours of episodes. Will, Mike and Jonathan had no actual plot? Where are they now?”

In a new interview with GQ, Heaton was asked for his view. The journalist noted that Jonathan’s narrative “does seem, on the basis of the opening four episodes, to be a little less substantial than in previous seasons”.

“I know why you’re asking that,” Heaton responded. “And I’ve definitely seen some forums like Screenrant or something – ‘What happened to the character?’ It is an ensemble cast, obviously every season they’ve brought in new characters, wonderful characters, and they’ve taken the story to different places.”

Heaton said he was excited about the story developments in season four: “The Hawkins storyline this year is totally out of Nightmare On Elm Street,” he said. “It’s really exciting to see the show go in that direction.”

Elsewhere, fans have been complaining this week about a “ridiculous” explanation to a season three cliffhanger in the new series. Others are intrigued by new character Vecna and what his presence means for the gang.

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Finn Wolfhard – who plays Mike – has also responded to the fan speculation that Will (Noah Schnapp) may be queer and harbouring romantic feelings for Mike.

Read The Independent’s review of Stranger Things season four here.

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