Filming for the fourth outing of Stranger Things is underway and before long, production is shifting to New Mexico. A new report from Deadline suggests the acclaimed Netflix hit will film "a significant portion" of the season in the Land of Enchantment. The production will be based out of Albuquerque's ABQ Studios, a physical studio space purchased by Netflix in 2018. Netflix production VP Momita SenGupta says the expanding scope of the series was the catalyst in shifting production locales. The first three seasons of the show had filmed entirely in Atlanta-area studios.
"Season 4 is bigger, bolder and more intricate than ever," SenGupta said at Deadline's recent Hot Spots conference in New Mexico. "So this is the first time the show will be traveling beyond Atlanta."
It's estimated Netflix ended up spending around $30 million two years ago to purchase the New Mexico-based studio space. A Variety report from the time says the State of New Mexico helped out with the purchase, providing the streamer with $10 million to help bring additional jobs to the area. The City of Albuquerque proper chipped in an additional $4.5 million.
As evidenced by the super quick teaser released earlier this year, David Harbour's Chief Jim Hopper is returning after seemingly being vaporized in the Season Three finale. Prior to that teaser, Harbour was played very coy when asked about his character's future.
"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," Harbour said at a convention appearance last year at German Comic Con Dortmund. "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."
"Now whether or not there is this second act, whether or not there is some sort of resurrection, whether or not we can see him go off in a certain way, would be really interesting to me. I would love it. Anybody watch Lord of the Rings? Gandalf the Grey fights the Balrog, descends into darkness, battles him forever, and everyone thinks he's dead. And then he re-emerges as Gandalf the White, with sort of a new strength and a new power. That would be an interesting arc for him."
Stranger Things Season Four has yet to set a release date. The first three seasons of the show are now streaming on Netflix.
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