Chief Jim Hopper was a dead man walking in season 3 of Stranger Things.
Or so says lead star David Harbour, who told fans at German Comic Con Dortmund (h/t ComicBook.com) that his beloved character “needed to die” at the tail-end of season 3, when Hopper fell victim to an explosion…right next to a portal connecting our world with the Upside Down.
Was he able to make a quick getaway before it was too late? Can we expect to see Jim Hopper return for Stranger Things season 4? Those same questions were posed to Harbour this past weekend, to which the actor replied:
Oh my Lord! I don’t know. Should we call the Duffer brothers? We don’t know yet, we don’t know. They won’t tell me anything, so we’ll have to see. I think you’ll find out at some point, we’ll find out at some point. Let’s hope he’s alive.
To his credit, David Harbour deflected any and all questions relating to the plot of Stranger Things season 4 and, more specifically, Hopper’s role in it (or lack thereof). He did, however, elaborate on his character’s overall arc, and how his self-destructive behavior encapsulates the pain and grief he felt after losing his daughter Sarah.
I think Hopper — from the very beginning I’ve said this — he’s very lovable in a certain way, but also, he’s kind of a rough guy. Certainly in the beginning of Season 1 he’s kind of dark, and he’s drinking, and he’s trying to kill himself, and he hates himself for what happened to his daughter. I feel like, in a sense, that character needed to die. He needed to make some sacrifice to make up for the way he’s been living for the past like 10 years, the resentments that he’s had. So he needed to die.
Season 4 of Stranger Things is now filming for a release in the latter stages of 2020, and we can at least confirm that Maya Hawke will be reprising the role of Scoops Ahoy employee (and all-around super-spy) Robin Buckley. Mark the calendars, folks, a return trip to Hawkins is very much on the cards.