"Stranger Things" continues to be one of the biggest entertainment franchises to debut in the 21st Century. The television series launched on Netflix, and a strong argument can be made that it's the service's flagship title.

The original series that started it all is in the process of undergoing its swan song. But moves are already in place for the franchise to continue in its most familiar television format and in others. At least one major project is officially scheduled to premiere before the tv series' final season. Beware of significant spoilers.

'Stranger Things: The First Shadow' details

The stage production "Stranger Things: The First Shadow" will hit London's West End in 2023, according to Variety. That production of its kind had been earlier reported. Now, it has become official. According to CBS, it marks the first time that Netflix has undertaken a play.

"The First Shadow" is to be a prequel set in 1959. Four characters that should be familiar to "Stranger Things" fans are part of the plot. The characters listed include Jim Hopper and Joyce Maldonado, almost Joyce Byers' maiden name, Bob Newby, and Henry Creel. The latter was eventually revealed as the series' ultimate villain in the most recent season. The twist caused quite a stir among the fan base.

Other than some elements, such as re-introducing a particular love triangle, the season won near-universal praise, including receiving several Emmy Awards.

Of course, while some well-known characters are set to appear, established cast members will most likely not. The play taking place nearly 30 years before the show's setting seems to rule it out effectively.

One possible exception could be Raphael Luce, who has played the younger version of Henry Creel. But timeline issues aside, signing on to a stage production is also a massive commitment. Even more so if it is being put on overseas.

The play is hinted at as being an essential part of the eventual conclusion of the original "Stranger Things" series.

An official press release noted that it "may hold the key to the end." The show's official Twitter page stated, "before we continue, we must go back." Very fitting for the franchise; it was written upside down.

Series creators and brothers Matt and Ross Duffer are producing the play. The co-executive producer of "Stranger Things," Kate Trefry, has written the script.

Remain to be seen if the production will be made available through other outlets

The West End is no doubt one of the most prestigious venues in the world. Along with New York City's Broadway, it's generally considered one of the top stage production outlets in the world. But it might raise some eyebrows that "The First Shadow" is not premiering in the United States, which is the country of origin for the original television series.

Regardless of where the production would debut, the age-old issue would remain. Not everybody who would want to see it would, in all likelihood, actually be able to. It is possible that the play could go on tour. But there might be at least one or two more likely options, especially with the apparent desire for fans to see the space before the upcoming final "Stranger Things" season.

One or more performances of the production could be recorded and made available on Netflix. Or possibly even given cinematic releases. Cinematic presentations of "Stranger Things" have been made public previously.