‘Stranger Things 4’: David Harbour Says Season Will Be ‘Epic,’ We’ll Learn Hopper’s Backstory

Stranger Things 3 shocked everyone with an ending that included a presumably dead Sheriff Jim Hopper. None of us were quite sure if he was the American referred to in the credits scene until some fan photos and a teaser trailer confirmed it.

Since we know Hopper is alive and somewhere in Russia, people are trying to connect the dots for season 4. David Harbour recently offered some insight into what fans can expect.

'Stranger Things' David Harbour as Sheriff Hopper
‘Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Sheriff Hopper | Netflix

‘Stranger Things 3’ cast Hopper in new light

We know it’s been a year since the last installment of Stranger Things dropped on Netflix, but Hopper established himself as one of the series’ fan favorites.

The gruff, sometimes combative sheriff became a nurturer. As a father figure to Eleven, viewers saw his overprotective, yet tender side come out. And as the love-struck romantic interest of Joyce, he stumbled but meant well.

Those qualities endeared him to fans even more, but also provided a contrast to the part of him that wants to be a risk-taking hero, and the forceful brute (remember how he treated Alexei). Those sweeter aspects made Hopper willing to sacrifice himself in the end.

RELATED: Why ‘Stranger Things’ Stunt Coordinator Worried Hopper’s Season Finale Fight Was Too Long

‘Stranger Things 4’ will explore more of Hopper

Fortunately, Hopper wasn’t turned to dust. David Harbour and Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers appeared on Deadline’s Contenders panel, and Harbour assured everyone that Hopper’s story arc will go to new realms. And that doesn’t just mean Russia.

Harbour said:

To me, what happens in this season—first of all it’s very epic and very big in a Stranger Things way—there’s monsters, there’s horror, there’s scares. There’s also like great Indiana Jones-type action.

But also, we get to see some of Hopper’s really deep backstory that we’ve hinted at with the boxes in season 2. And I’m really excited to let people see these really deep colors in him ‘cause you know each season we see a different side of him. And last season, it was sort of wacky except for the end and except for these moments where he tempered that.

Harbour added that in season 4, his character will be “painted in a darker palette” and it’s exciting. Are you ready to dig deeper into Hopper’s story?

How ‘Stranger Things 3’ set the stage for more terror in season 4

After surviving the Mind Flayer that consumed Billy and other townspeople, a Russian hitman, and the fire at Starcourt Mall, the kids suffered the loss of Hopper, and so did fans. On top of that, Eleven’s powers tanked out. While viewers are now in on the secret that he’s alive, El and the rest of crew do not.

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From Russia with love…

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They will have to process that loss while navigating their new long-distance dynamic with each other. But we also know that the Upside Down is not finished. You can bet your Slurpee that something is amiss in Russia where Hopper will probably have to stage an escape.

Those scientists in Hawkins were tampering with the Key/portal and it’s obvious they have one or more monsters back at their headquarters in Russia. Once Hopper makes the connection, mark Harbour’s words, there will be horror and darkness.

RELATED: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4: Hopper’s Teaser Trailer Wasn’t Actually Filmed In Russia