The end of April and beginning of May mark the end of the second-quarter earnings for most companies, and Netflix was one of the few with good tidings. Despite most streamers opting to return to the weekly release format, the "binge drop" model had put Netflix in a good position for 2020, with nearly all planned originals for the year already complete, and most of 2021 still on track. Stranger Things is apparently in the latter category, and actor David Harbour hints Hopper's backstory will be revealed in Stranger Things 4 when it finally arrives.
Unlike earlier seasons, Stranger Things has been less cagey about spoilers for the next installment of the series. Season 3 left viewers on a cliffhanger, with viewers asking, "Is Hopper alive?" Though the series treated the finale as Hopper's final episode, the post-credit sequence suggested those in Indiana were too quick to write the former Hawkins police chief off. After all, no one saw him die, they just saw a giant flash, and then he was gone. And here in Russia, in a facility experimenting with the Upside Down, there was talk of an imprisoned "American."
Instead of trying to hide actor David Harbour for an entire season of filming, the first Stranger Things Season 4 teaser got straight to the point: Hopper is the American, and he's currently trapped in Russia as a prisoner.
Actor David Harbour, who plays the now-imprisoned police chief, says that's only the beginning of a season that will deep dive into Hopper's past. Moreover, he points out where the show already started setting these reveals up.
Speaking at Liverpool Comic-Con back in March, Harbour tells fans to go back to Season 2, when Eleven first moves in with him and uncovers old file boxes in the attic, marked "Dad," "Vietnam," and "New York."
[T]here are these three things that we’ve established in the season that if we don’t pay off, it means that they’re bad writers. And the Duffer brothers are very good writers. So I know specifically that in Season 4, we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory.
Of these boxes, the only one that isn't a surprise is "Vietnam." Considering Hopper's age, he would have been 18 right as the war (and the draft) took off, and Hopper is not the kind who would chase a deferment.
But the other two, especially "New York," offer tantalizing clues of who Hopper was in his 20s. Harbour says he's excited to dive into them.
It’s one of the things that I’ve known since the first frame of the first shot... It’s my favorite thing about him that you guys don’t know 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.
Stranger Things Season 4 filming is currently on hiatus, but the series is expected to arrive sometime in 2021.