Netflix releases a teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4, confirming Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is still alive and imprisoned in Russia.
Netflix has released a teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4, confirming Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is still alive and imprisoned in Russia. At the end of season 3, the often hot-tempered, yet otherwise decent, Sheriff Hopper appeared to sacrifice his life in order to close the entrance to the Upside-Down and save the town of Hawkins, Indiana once again. Shortly after, however, Stranger Things season 3 concluded with a mid-credits scene set in a Russian prison where a mysterious “American” and a Demogorgon (among other things) were being kept. Suffice it to say, viewers quickly put two and two together.
Since then, fans have spent less time wondering whether Hopper will return in Stranger Things season 4 and more time speculating HOW he managed to survive the final showdown in season 3. Harbour, for his part, has played coy the entire time, refusing to confirm Hopper will be back at all. In a smart move, Netflix has now come out and announced the character’s return, rather than risking a backlash from dragging things out any further.
For a glimpse of Hopper alive and well (okay, sorta well; he’s imprisoned in Russia after all), check out the newly-unveiled Stranger Things season 4 teaser below. Showrunners and creators Matt and Ross Duffer have also issued a statement about the start of production on season 4 (complete with an appropriate James Bond reference), which we’ve included along with the trailer.
“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper! Although it’s not all good news for our “American”; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything….
Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime – pray for the American.”
From Russia with love,
The Duffer Brothers
Depending on how you look at it, Hopper’s return is either welcome news, disappointing, or a bit of both. The character has always carried a lot of emotional baggage on the show (including, but not limited to, the death of his daughter), but some felt Stranger Things went too far in making Hopper a messy hero in season 3 and basically turned him into a jerk instead. In that sense, his return in season 4 gives the Duffer Brothers the chance to continue evolving him as a character and maybe even course-correct a little after last season. On the other hand, others felt Hopper was handled well in season 3 and saw his sacrifice as a poignant ending to his journey. Allowing him to remain dead (in spite of all the clues to the contrary) would’ve been the riskier move, but arguably the more exciting one.
Regardless, Hopper is officially back, so it’s now on the Duffers and their writers to make his return work in season 4. Further, by bringing him back and trapping him in Russia, this means Stranger Things will have to mix things up more than season 3 did. He’s not the only one who’s left Hawkins for the time being either; last season ended with Joyce Byers, her sons Will and Jonathan, and Hopper’s adopted daughter Eleven moving away, so the whole gang will be split up by the time season 4 begins. With a little luck, those changes to the status quo will help the show to keep things fresh as it heads into its latest installment.
Stranger Things season 4 is expected to premiere on Netflix in 2021.
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About The Author
Sandy Schaefer is Screen Rant’s Movie Reviews Editor and an Associate News Editor.