David Harbour promises a bigger and better Season 4 of Stranger Things and reveals new details about the "rebirth" of his character Jim Hopper, a Hawkins Chief of Police turned Russian gulag prisoner. After his apparent death in the Season 3 finale — where Hopper disappears in a blast of energy when Joyce (Winona Ryder) closes a gate to the Upside Down during the battle of Starcourt — a Season 4 teaser revealed Hopper is alive but imprisoned in a labor camp in Kamchatka, Russia, where ill-fated inmates are fed to a pet Demogorgon.
"It's bigger, that's the first thing. In scope, in scale, even in the idea that we're not in Hawkins anymore," Harbour told Collider of Stranger Things 4 while promoting his new Marvel movie Black Widow. "We, locale-wise, we're bigger. We're introducing new stuff, but we're also tightening and wrapping up in a certain direction to make it have a clear, clean specific, and definite ending at some point, which I can't really talk about."
In what Harbour calls his "favorite season," Hopper is "at his purest, he's at his most vulnerable, in a sense."
"He's been, as we've seen, he's in this Russian prison, so we get to reinvent him in a sense. He gets to have a rebirth from what he had become, and we'd always sort of planned this almost resurrection of you have Gandalf die, Galdalf the Grey re-emerge, and I'm really interested in this resurgence of him," Harbour said, referring to the Lord of the Rings wizard. "We get to explore a lot of threads in his life that have merely been hinted at that we get to see a lot more of. And there's some real surprises that you know nothing about that will start to come out in this and play big as the series goes on."
Harbour previously revealed Season 4 would delve into Hopper's history hinted at in Season 2, where his adoptive daughter Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) comes across boxes from Hopper's past marked "Dad," "New York," and "Vietnam."
"[Season 4] is really my favorite season. I just love it," Harbour told Collider. "The scripts always get better and these guys [the Duffer Brothers], they started out, and Season 1 is so tight and good and intimate in a certain way, it's so good. And these guys go in different directions, of which the fans have multiple takes on, but I will say, the writing continues to be of its particular, specific genre, whatever they're doing each season is just extraordinary. And this, again, we top it. Like I feel it's a big, beautiful season. I can't wait for people to see it."
Harbour, Ryder, and Brown return alongside Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, and Matthew Modine. Previously cast Season 4 newcomers include Amybeth McNulty, Myles Truitt, Regina Ting Chen, Grace Van Dien, and Robert Englund.
Netflix has not yet announced a release date for Stranger Things 4.