Production for season four of Netflix's hit sci-fi series Stranger Things may be on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't stop us diehard fans from theorizing what will go down. Season three left viewers with plenty of cliffhangers and unanswered questions to contend with. How many other children did Hawkins Lab experiment on? Has the gate to the Upside Down closed for good? Did Robin and Steve get jobs at the video store? Only time will tell, but here are six things we know for sure about the next season.
1. Hopper is alive!
The streaming service released the first teaser for season four on Valentine's Day, which confirmed what many fans have hoped for since the conclusion of the third season—Chief Hopper is alive! The post-credits scene of the last season takes viewers to a Russian prison, where one prison guard references an American prisoner before feeding another very unlucky captive to the Demogorgon. The moment had fans hoping that Hopper had somehow survived the explosion that closed the gate to the Upside Down, and the video confirmed the suspicion that he's alive. However, it seems he is imprisoned at some type of labor camp, and we have yet to learn how his storyline will connect back to the rest of the characters.
2. We'll be learning about Hopper's past.
During a panel at Comic Con Liverpool, David Harbour told fans that the next season of Stranger Things will reveal secrets from his character's past. He explained, "In Season 2, Eleven goes into the basement of the cabin and there’s five boxes, one of which is has stuff from Hawkins lab, one of which says ‘Dad,’ one of which says ‘Vietnam,' one says ‘New York’… so there are three things that we’ve established in this scene and if they don’t pay off that means that [The Duffer Brothers] are bad writers…I know specifically that in Season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory." Color me intrigued!
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3. One minor character may be returning.
Netflix released a video on Twitter in March showing the cast of Stranger Things gathering for a table read of season four. At one point in the video, Ross Patridge can be seen. If that name doesn't sound familiar, he is the actor who plays Lonnie Byers, Joyce's estranged ex-husband and her sons' absent father. Lonnie hasn't made an appearance since the first season, so it will be interesting to see what causes his return.
4. Parts of season four were filmed in New Mexico.
According to Collider, parts of next season were filmed in New Mexico. The location shift makes sense, as the end of last season saw the Byers family as well as Eleven moving away from Hawkins. Stranger Things is primarily filmed in Atlanta, Georgia even though it takes place in Indiana, so it's likely that New Mexico is just a new filming location and not the new fictional setting. Nonetheless, it makes you wonder where Joyce, Will, Jonathan, and Eleven move to, and how it will affect the dynamic between the characters.
5. Things are about to get "scarier."
Joe Keery, who plays Steve Harrington, recently spoke with Total Film Magazine about season four. “Oh man, it’s pretty amazing — the Duffer brothers have really done it again,” Keery said. “I think that this year — and I know I say this every single year — but this is definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years, because last year was pretty dark.” I wonder if that means that the Upside Down will be releasing a new monster into the world!
6. The title of the first episode.
A reported by The Independent, the Stranger Things writers have revealed the title for the premiere of season four. The first episode, shared on Twitter in the post below, is titled "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club." Sounds ominous! Maybe The Hellfire Club is a nickname the younger characters give to themselves, or perhaps it's in reference to something else entirely.
Netflix has yet to announce an official release date for season four of Stranger Things, but until then, we'll be on the lookout for any more clues we can get!