So while season 2 visited Hawkins in the year 1984, the third season of Stranger Things is poised to jump forward to 1985, and it’ll seemingly be even darker than previous installments.
Coming off the show’s impressive Emmy haul – 12 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series for the second year on the trot – long-time Stranger Things producer (and frequent director) Shawn Levy joined lead star David Harbour (Jim Hopper) for a fascinating chat with Deadline, one which yielded major story clues for Stranger Things season 3, beginning with this nugget from Levy:
It’s definitely going to get darker still, places that I think audiences are going to really love. It’s got so much heart and humor.
Stranger Things is never one to shy away from its biggest movie inspirations, and based on David Harbour’s own comments, it appears as though clues to season 3’s story are already out there in the wild. Spoilers: they’re seemingly residing in some of the “great films” from 1985.
If you’re a real fan of Stranger Things and you really want to know. I would go look at the great films that were released in ’85, of which there were many, and just go down that list and think of the possibilities that we could be going with. I think it is a specific season to 1985, and so you’ll see references to that. We’re experimenting a lot this season, and we’re taking risks, and I hope that they pay off but they are risks. We’re going into territories we’ve never been to before, and it’s exciting.
Off the top of my head, The Breakfast Club and The Goonies spring to mind as two time-honored classics from ’85, though it’s unclear exactly how they’ll inform the plot of Netflix’s sci-fi gem.
And Chief Jim Hopper? It seems everyone’s favorite donut-munching detective (?) will continue to build on that fatherly relationship with Eleven, all the while harkening back to the no-nonsense badass from season 1.
We had a little softer season with Jim in Season 2. Where he was really working off these fatherly instincts and understanding a responsibility that was larger than himself, and I think one of the things that we missed from Season 1 was this guy who goes into government facilities and punches people in the face. He’s not a doofus, but he’s a bit of a Columbo character.
There was a sort of swashbuckling guy that we put on the back burner. So I think we’ll see a little more of the swashbuckling Hopper you may have liked from Season 1. It’s almost like [Season] 1 plus two, equals three. It’s like you have this third character now, who goes back to the swashbuckling guy of Season 1, but also has behind him this adopted daughter who he loves very much, so it’s really cool.
Expect Stranger Things season 3 to drag us back into the Upside Down sometime next year.