Will David Harbour’s Jim Hopper be alive when “Stranger Things” returns for a fourth season? It’s the question on fans’ minds following the Netflix series’ third season finale, but they might not get an answer for awhile. TVLine’s Michael Ausiello confirms “Stranger Things 4” will begin production in January 2020. The new season will most likely film until August, definitively ruling out a summer return for the series. “Stranger Things 3” debuted July 4, so there will be over a year-long hiatus before new episodes debut.
The “Stranger Things 4” production schedule means the show might debut at the earliest around Christmas 2020. The series requires extensive special effects, so it’s entirely possible post-production pushes a premiere launch to 2021. A long hiatus is not out of the ordinary for “Stranger Things” as fans had to wait well over a year in between the second and third seasons. A Christmas 2020 debut would be appropriate as the first season of the show was set around the holiday (who can forget the flickering Christmas lights?). “Stranger Things 2” wrapped filming in June 2017 and premiered in October, so “Stranger Things 4” wrapping in August doesn’t rule out a 2020 release, even if 2021 seems more like a sure thing. IndieWire has reached out to Netflix for more information.
Whenever “Stranger Things 4” does debut, it will do so by expanding the show’s story outside of its primary setting of Hawkins, Indiana. “Stranger Things 3” ended with the Byers family and Eleven moving out of Hawkins. A post-credits scene jumped to Russia, where an unidentified American prisoner was being held at a facility that was also housing a young Demogorgon. Fans have been wondering if the American prisoner is Hopper, who sacrificed himself in the “Strangers Things 3” finale. Harbour has provided no definite answers.
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“I mean, I have no idea!” Harbour told Entertainment Tonight in July about Hopper still being alive. “I have no idea! I mean that, of course, is my hope too. It seems pretty crazy though. You know, that machine went off and blew up and Hopper seemed to be trapped there. He did glance around a little bit, but he seemed to be trapped and the machine exploded.”
The Duffer Brothers have said “Stranger Things 4” will “open up” the show’s universe as the plot heads beyond Hawkins’ borders. “Obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what [the Russians] are doing with the Demogorgon, is a tease [of what to expect]” Ross Duffer told EW. “That’s obviously going to play a huge role in a potential season four.”