Since the Duffer Brothers confirmed they’re working on a Stranger Things spinoff, there’s been a ton of speculation over what it might focus on. Most of the theories have centered on sequels, following the further adventures of this or that character. But a few fans have glommed on to the idea of a prequel series, perhaps featuring the previous generation of Stranger Things teenagers. And if that’s the case, in a recent interview, Stranger Things star David Harbour said he wants Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi to play Young Hopper.
Warning: Mild spoilers for Stranger Things 4 follow. Stranger Things has always been a show about the kids — Dustin, Mike, Lucas, Will, Eleven, Max, and their friends and siblings. However, the adults have a ton of history and are just as well-rounded as their progeny, especially Hopper and Joyce. (Hopper has even talked about their high school years, in one of the earliest Jopper-ship scenes at the end of Season 2.)
When they confirmed the spinoff, the Duffers hinted Season 5 will act as a jumping-off point for the spinoff, which will apparently be “1000% different” from what fans are expecting. One of the few details they’ve given is that there will be flashbacks to earlier eras of Hawkins. With that in mind, a prequel high school drama set in the 1960s, as Brenner sets up his lab and the MKUltra project while the previous generation of Hawkins knows nothing is a possibility. With Hopper and Joyce back in Hawkins at the end of Season 4, developing their history could certainly be on the table.
With all that in mind, Harbour says he’s already got the best Young Hopper to play his character at high school age: Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi. In an interview with GQ, he teased, “He could pull off being as handsome as I was at 20.”
On a more serious note, Harbour admitted he saw the role of Hopper as one that he’s the caretaker of, not the owner. “At this point, I think Hopper is a character that can exist independent of me. If they wanna go back in time, forward in time,” he told GQ. “I’d love to see another actor play Hopper, and see what they can bring to it.”
Habour also confirmed he’s one of the few who knows the arc of Season 5 already; the Duffers revealed key details he needed to know to set up his character’s journey. He also has a rough idea of their timeline for what’s next — as he says in the interview, “I think as soon as the show ends, or maybe six months before it ends, you’ll be hearing about whatever spin-offs [the Duffer Brothers] have planned.”
Whether Habour is correct about the direction of the spinoff — and whether the Duffers plan to listen to him for casting advice — remains to be seen.
Stranger Things Seasons 1 through 4 are streaming on Netflix; Stranger Things 5 is expected to arrive in 2024.