The third season of the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things, ended with an explosive finale that found David Harbour's beloved Jim Hopper disappearing without a trace. Assumed dead, Hopper is in fact now a prisoner in a mysterious Russian gulag, with Harbour stating that he always knew the character would return, despite joking about being kept in the dark.
"I knew. We knew. We had talked about it. I just wanted to preserve the fantasy for everyone. And it's such a weird position that we're in now with so much media, that everybody wants to talk to you about it. I'm very close to the Duffer brothers, and I know where the story's going, and I've known from the get-go. And I think that's been the great thing about this story. In terms of Stranger Things, you'll be able to look back at season one and see a lot of things that happen further down the line that relate to that."
David Harbour even likens Hopper's resurrection to that of Lord of the Rings hero, Gandalf, who made a similar sacrifice to the Stranger Things character before returning a changed and even more powerful wizard. According to Harbour, this element of change and evolution is something that will absolutely apply to Hopper in the show's fourth season.
"I've had those discussions with them from the very first season. We were always interested in that idea of the Gandalf resurrection - Gandalf the Grey who fights the Balrog and then becomes Gandalf the White. It's the idea of the resurrection of the character. And mythologically, Hopper, in a sense, had to change. I mean, you couldn't go on the way he was going on. He has to resurrect in some way. So it was a great opportunity to do that. So we'll see a very different guy going forwards. The same guy but in a different vein. It's a very cool thing to be able to play."
Harbour has revealed a few scant details regarding Hopper's return already, with the actor divulging that Eleven will discover "five boxes, one of which has Brenner's stuff from Hawkins Lab, one of which says 'Dad,' and one of which says 'Vietnam,' and one says 'New York.'"
He added that season 4 "will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper's backstory," and that fans have "sort of sensed that in certain ways, but we haven't really told you about [it]," pointing to past revelations such as Hopper's daughter and his time served during the Vietnam War. "I'm so excited about revealing this aspect of the character," he said of exploring Hopper's past. "It's one of the things that I've known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven't expressed it yet. And finally, we're gonna express it in a big way. It's my favorite thing about him that you guys don't know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and dad. And I'm really excited for you guys to know more about that, and it relates, of course, to things he's doing with Eleven and Joyce and things like that."
The fourth season of Stranger Things will continue to be produced by the show's creators, the Duffer Brothers, along with Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen, and Iain Paterson. The show's main cast are all set to return with the likes of Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, and Cara Buono, with Priah Ferguson and Brett Gelman all set to reprise their roles.
Production of the fourth season began in February 2020, with the season expected to be released during the 2020-21 television season. However, production of the series was halted in March due to current circumstances, leaving it with no current release date. This comes to us from Games Radar.