You Season 5: Release, Cast, and Everything We Know

By Sam Hargrave Posted:

Netflix's You is set to return for Season 5, so here's everything we know so far about the release, cast, plot, and Jenna Ortega's potential return.

The Netflix psychological thriller stars Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a deeply disturbed book enthusiast who will do anything, even kill, for love.

Season 4 took Joe to London where he took on a fake identity, became an English professor, joined a group of wealthy socialites, and fell in love with a new woman.

When Will You Season 5 Release on Netflix?

Penn Badgley You

You was officially renewed for a fifth season in March 2023, shortly after Season 4 debuted to strong reactions from fans and critics alike.

As the renewal came under two months before the writers' strike began in early May, You Season 5 is likely still early in the scripting stages and far from filming.

Season 5 was originally announced by Netflix for a 2024 premiere, but there's a chance the ongoing strikes may push the new episodes beyond that.

Writing will not be able to resume until the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike comes to an end, and even after that is complete, filming will not be able to begin until a deal is reached to bring the SAG-AFTRA strike to an end.

Looking at past seasons of You, filming lasted for four to five months, with premieres following five to six months later. So even once You finally starts filming Season 5, it likely won't begin streaming for around a year later.

With the two strikes showing no signs of ending anytime soon and plenty of writing work still remaining, You Season 5 may not release for well over a year, either in late 2024 or early 2025.

Who Will Return in You Season 5?

Netflix, You, Season 4

As every season of You has taken place in a different setting - New York, Los Angeles, Madre Linda, and London - with a distinct cast, it's unclear exactly who will be back for Season 5. 

The only person guaranteed to be back is Penn Badgley's Joe Goldberg, but the ending of Season 4 may offer some clues about who else will be back.

Charlotte Ritchie's Kate Galvin, Joe's wealthy girlfriend, appears likely to be back as she accompanied him on his return trip to New York after he told her the truth about his past and killings, except that of her father.

During a teaser played at Netflix's Tudum event, Badgley teased returning cast members as he pointed out there are "many loose ends from Joe's past:"

"More importantly you’re considering what, or should I say, who Joe will come up against as he finally returns to New York. Though I can’t say who just yet we all know there are many loose ends from Joe’s past”

The tease was accompanied by clips of several of the survivors of Joe's wrongdoing including Season 1's Karen, Paco, and Dr. Nicky, Season 2's Ellie (Jenna Ortega), Season 3's Cary and Sherry, and Season 4's Nadia, Marienne, and Lady Phoebe, along with Joe and Love's baby son, Henry.

Badgley didn't necessarily confirm any of these characters will be back, although they are all certainly on the table, especially those from Season 1 as the show finally returns to its New York setting.

On the behind-the-scenes front, one person who won't be back is showrunner Sera Gamble, who has been with You since Season 1 and even co-created the series with co-executive producer Greg Berlanti.

Michael Foley, who has been a writer on You since the beginning, and Justin W. Lo, who boarded the show with Season 2, will take over for Gamble as co-showrunners as she steps back to focus on new projects.

What Will Happen in You Season 5?

Netflix, You, Season 4, Kate, Ending

The first four seasons have seen Joe bounce from place to place after causing plenty of murderous trouble for himself at his last destination. Now, Season 5 has the tough task of closing out that endless cycle and providing a resolution to Joe's story in the familiar setting of New York.

As Penn Badgley has teased, Season 5 will feature "loose ends from Joe's past," indicating some of those he has wronged over the years who managed to survive his wrath may be back to exact revenge against him. Those from Season 1 may be at the top of that list as Joe returns to its setting after several years.

One has to imagine Joe will finally face some form of justice in Season 5 to bring his story to a close, but what form that will take is tough to predict. Perhaps he may be caught by the police and arrested or maybe even meet his own death.

Things may be different for Joe in New York this time around, as he now has the support of the money and resources of his wealthy girlfriend, Kate; he even has his own new bookstore to run now. 

Not to mention, Joe has some newfound notoriety after participating in an interview with Kate where he claimed to be a victim who escaped Love's abuse. Going into Season 5, Joe has embraced his dark side and his life just became more public than ever, setting him up to be his most dangerous yet in the final episodes.

Only time will tell how Joe and Kate's relationship proceeds, particularly in terms of how honest he actually was with her about his past at the end of Season 4. Fans will have to wait and see how complicit Kate is in covering up Joe's crimes, but viewers know well by now it rarely ends well for his romantic entanglements.

Will Jenna Ortega Appear in You Season 5?

Netflix, You, Jenna Ortega, Ellie

Following Jenna Ortega's rise to stardom after Wednesday and ahead of Scream 6, many fans were hoping her You character would return for Season 4, having made her debut in Season 2 and skipped out on Season 3.

Joe became close friends with Ortega's 15-year-old Ellie in Season 2, with her even helping him build a social media presence to impress Love. However, unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse after Love killed Ellie's older sister, Delilah, and Joe gave his young friend money to get away and start a new life.

Former showrunner Sera Gamble addressed Ellie's Season 4 absence in an interview with IndieWire, revealing Ortega's commitments to Wednesday got in the way of her returning to You. But she was clear the team "have ideas" for her character if the actress were free to come back down the line:

“We wanted to bring Ellie back and we heard, ‘Oh, Jenna is doing some show,' It’s been just such a pleasure to see Jenna this year. We have ideas for Ellie if her schedule allows her to visit us again.”

Ortega's Ellie was even featured in the Tudum teaser in a montage of several past characters as a comment from star Penn Badgley hinted how Season 5 will address the "loose ends from Joe's past." 

The show established Joe and Ellie remain in contact as Season 3 revealed he continues to send her money regularly. Perhaps she may have found herself in New York after leaving Los Angeles to avoid the threat of Love.

So with regard to whether Ortega's schedule will be open enough to return for You Season 5, that may be tough with Beetlejuice 2, Wednesday Season 2, and possibly even Scream 7 if she ends up coming back.

The actress is currently busy filming A24's Death of a Unicorn with Paul Rudd, as the movie was given an exception to film through the strike as it comes from an independent studio that is not a member of AMPTP - the alliance of studios with which SAG-AFTRA is fighting for a better deal.

Ortega will then resume filming Beetlejuice 2 - the first look at which has already surfaced online - as soon as the SAG-AFTRA strike ends. 

And by the time that finishes, it may be almost time for her to get started on Wednesday Season 2, which, before the strike, was aiming to start production late this year according to casting director Sophie Holland - via Deadline.

In short, it seems unlikely Ortega will have time for any extended role in You Season 5 due to all these other commitments, but perhaps a cameo or minor role may be on the table, schedule permitting.

Will Season 5 Be the Final Season of You?

Netflix, You, Season 4

When Netflix announced You's renewal, the streamer was clear that Season 5 would be the final season of the show which began on the Lifetime network in 2018.

Excitingly, after You's first four seasons took the series to three U.S. locations and the U.K. capital of London, Season 5 will take Joe Goldberg back to where it all began in New York.

Executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter told Tudum how they “always conceived [You] as a five-season journey,” with departing showrunner Sera Gamble promising a "delightfully twisted conclusion."

You Season 5 has yet to set an official release date but is currently expected to release in 2024.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.