Netflix confirms Hopper is returning to Stranger Things

Dusty Baxter-Wright
Photo credit: Netflix

From Cosmopolitan

The Stranger Things gang might be growing up, but they're certainly not going anywhere. After season one captured our Netflix-loving hearts, we were treated to season two, and most recently, a season three, which dropped summer 2019.

The good news is, if you've binge-watched every bit of Stranger Things content that currently exists, Netflix have just confirmed a Stranger Things season 4. Here's everything you need to know about it, from potential release date, fan theories, plot lines and more. Exciting!

Do we have any clues about Stranger Things season 4?

We're glad you asked, because yes, we do. On Stranger Things Day (November 6, aka the date in the first season when Will Byers disappeared into the Upside Down), Netflix revealed the first episode name of the new season.

"Join our club we have d&d," they wrote, alongside a photo of the episode script. Episode 401 (fourth series, first episode) is titled 'Chapter One: The Hellfire Club', and was written by The Duffer Brothers, who created Stranger Things. We're excited.

Remind me, what happened in Stranger Things season 3?

If you need a recap from Stranger Things season 3, you're in luck. The series was set in the height of summer 1985 - think swimming pools, shopping malls and sunbathing. It's all fun and games until the inhabitants of Hawkins are faced with the giant spider-goo creation birthed out of the Mind Flayer, who attacks Eleven, Joyce, Hopper, Murray and the gang while they're at Starcourt mall.

The final scenes see them fighting off the monster controlled by the Mind Flayer, with everyone from Nancy and Jonathan to Dustin's actually-real girlfriend Suzie having to play their part. There were some casualties along the way, though - Billy sacrifices himself to save Eleven, while viewers were left speculating about Hopper's fate at the Russian facility after he disappeared in the final episode and left Eleven a very emotional note. But after months of concern, Netflix has finally confirmed that Hopper will be back for series 4.

After they successfully see off the monster, Stranger Things season 3 flashes forward three months. Eleven is living with Joyce and The Byers, and her powers have still not returned following the fight. Agh!

Photo credit: Netflix

Millie Bobby-Brown was "really against" the Stranger Things season 3 ending. In an interview with ELLE, Brown admitted that she was less than impressed with the season three finale, namely because she hadn't yet made sense of one of the plot twists.

"I was p*ssed," she commented. "I read the script and I was like, 'What, how is this even possible? Why are they moving away?' They were like 'Didn’t you read episode 3?' And I was like, 'Oh yeah'. …Because Joyce said she wanted to move away from Hawkins. I don’t know, I just felt really against it.’

The actress also revealed that she and her co-stars shed real tears when they filmed the finale scene of Eleven and Will leaving Hawkins.

"We all started crying and then they rolled camera and said action," she explained. "And that was it. We all started saying goodbye to each other. We felt too real."

Do we have a Stranger Things season 4 release date?

Sadly not - Netflix only officially confirmed we were getting a series 4 on September 30, with a cross-platform teaser trailer. And what's more? We're not in Hawkins anymore. Exciting! Where are the gang going?

There was a 20-month gap between season two and three, which suggests we may not be returning to the world of Stranger Things until 2021. Damn.

When will Stranger Things season 4 start filming?

Unclear! No word from Netflix or Stranger Things on this, but say production begins in October 2019 thanks to a new listing from Production Weekly, which indicates that the new series will start filming asap.

Who will star in Stranger Things season 4?

We can safely assume Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will) will be back at the centre of the story again.

Photo credit: Netflix

Presumably Joe Keerey (Steve Harrington) and his beautiful, beautiful hair will also be back, alongside Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Winona Ryder (who plays Joyce). Plus Netflix has just confirmed that Hopper (David Harbour) will be returning for season 4. Overjoyed.

Season 3 of Stranger Things introduced us to new characters, including Bruce, Suzie, Patricia and Mayor Larry Kline, so we can safely assume there'll be some new faces in the mix too.

Also, the chances are we haven't seen the last of Eleven's sister Kali, played by Linnea Berthelsen. "It feels weird to me that we wouldn't solve [Kali's] storyline," Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter. "I would say chances are very high she comes back. [Millie Bobby Brown and Berthelsen] had, I think, a really powerful connection."

Speaking about her hopes for her character Robin in season 4, Maya Hawke told Consequence of Sound: "I wanna see her at the video store. So many of the great minds of the ‘80s and ‘80s filmmakers and creatives started out working in video stores, and as far as I know, that environment hasn’t really been explored on TV. I think that would be really fun."

Photo credit: Netflix

What might happen in Stranger Things season 4?

Now this we can only speculate about. What do the fan theories say?

The return of Hopper... It didn't look good for Hopper at the end of series 3, plus there was the note he left to Eleven, which suggested he wouldn't be coming back. But at the very end of series 3, we hear the Russian men talking about "the American", before the camera pans to an underground cell with a big steel door. Fans thought this meant that Hopper had either been killed by the Russian men, or that he was in the cell. Some fans are wondering whether Hopper actually entered the Upside Down before it closed, which might explain why season 4 won't be set in Hawkins, given that Hopper is set to return for season 4.

Where is the Demogorgon? Matt Duffer teased Hopper's survival - as well as a focus on the Demogorgon - in season 4, in a new interview with EW. "Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, is a tease…That’s obviously going to play a huge role in a potential season four."

Will it be the last season? In the past, co-creator Ross Duffer said he thinks Stranger Things will be a four-season show, telling Variety, “We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out."

Photo credit: Netflix

Could Eleven turn bad in Stranger Things season 4? Millie Bobby-Brown responded to a convincing fan theory that Eleven turns evil in the next series, and it sounds like she could potentially be on board. The theory, which was put to her by Elle, suggests Eleven has been infected by the Mind Flayer after a part of its flesh got stuck on her leg, meaning her character has been turned to the dark side.

"I kind of like it!" Millie said on hearing the theory. "I’m into it. I wasn’t playing it like that. We don’t know what happens in season four. I definitely don’t. In scenes after the Mind Flayer grabbed me, I wasn’t playing it as I was infected. I was definitely playing it as normal as possible. And maybe that’s the reason they didn’t tell me. To make it as real as possible. I don’t know."

Speaking about fan theories in general, Millie added, "Those theories freak me out a bit. Because I’m like, 'Oh god, that could genuinely be true.' And what if she is the villain? That would be so cool. Wouldn’t that be cool? I’d love to be the villain, but then I also wouldn’t because Eleven is perfect. It would suck.’

Will Eleven get her powers back? Or is she just a normal human now? Watch this space, basically, because anything could happen.

So many things we need to know.

Stranger Things season 4 is due for release on Netflix.


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