Stranger Things 3 ended with the apparent death of Jim Hopper, who was last seen trapped in the vicinity of the Russians’ “key” machine right as it exploded, vaporizing everyone else in sight. The rules for TV deaths state, though, that unless you see it happen, it didn’t happen, so the fact that Hopper’s demise wasn’t shown gives us hope that he’ll return for season 4.
Thankfully, that’s looking very likely. For one, David Harbour’s contract covers a fourth season as Hawkins’ police chief. That’s according to TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, who wrote the following on his piece about the future of the Netflix smash hit:
“Harbour’s current contract carries him through a potential fourth season (and possibly beyond), but that doesn’t necessarily mean producers will pick up his Season 4 option. FWIW, the latest Vegas odds put the chances of him/her returning at duh.”
So, the option to bring Harbour back for ST4 is there, but we don’t yet know for sure if series bosses will make use of it or not. We have a pretty strong feeling that they will, however.
Millie Bobby Brown, who’s admitted to wrestling info about season 4 from creators the Duffers, has teased that Hop isn’t gone for good. Likewise, Harbour himself hinted that there’s more from the character’s development and growth to come on the show. Most importantly, there was that post-credits scene at the end of the finale which referenced “an American” locked up in a Russian prison. There are few options who this could be, but at the top of the list is Hopper.
In any case, David Harbour had better get used to fielding questions about his Stranger Things future – just as he’s having to constantly dodge dropping spoilers for his mysterious Black Widow role – as season 4 probably won’t be here for a while yet. At a push, it could be here by late 2020, but it’s more likely to hit Netflix in 2021.