Stranger Things season 2 has come and gone, but series star David Harbour is already discussing what he’d like to see for Chief Hopper and others in Hawkins, Indiana in season 3. The actor is making his awards circuit rounds, coming off his recent Golden Globe nomination and in doing so has come up with a laundry list of potential story lines and character pairings for the series to undertake as it pushes forward into not only the mystery of the Upside Down, but also the details of his character’s past, and (mostly internet-fueled) questions surrounding the death of Hopper’s daughter, Sara.
The first season of the Netflix series introduced audiences to its primary characters, and season 2 made for some great and unexpected team-ups, like standout Joe Keery’s Steve offering hair care tips to and hunting demogorgons with Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin. The pairing turned into a highlight for the season and seemingly offers a blueprint for future installments of the series, one that Harbour would like to take part in, it seems.
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In a recent interview with Variety, Harbour discussed his hopes for Stranger Things season 3, which includes a team-up between Hopper and Steve, as well as a greater exploration of where his character has been and how those experiences have made him into the man he has become. For Harbour, that means touching on his time in Vietnam as well as digging into the tragedy that tore his family apart. Harbour said:
“…I do think the internet knows my love for Joe Keery. I would love to see a Hopper and Steve get-together, but I seriously doubt that’s going to happen. I’d love to work with Gaten. I want to get into the backstory of Hopper more. When Eleven goes into the basement, she sees a bunch of boxes, one of which says ‘Hawkins Lab.’ ‘Dad.’ ‘Vietnam.’ ‘New York.’ There’s a lot of story we can get into around Hopper’s time as a cop in New York, Hopper’s time in Vietnam.
Sara dies theoretically five years before our story. In terms of the timeline, we say in the first season that I moved back to Hawkins after that experience. And we have me calling my ex-wife, who is remarried and has a kid. There’s a lot of rich material there, and with secrets around Sara and that whole event, which I hope we’ll get into in future seasons. Maybe not in the way you think. But there is a lot more complexity to Hopper’s relationship to Sara’s death.”
Though Harbour acknowledges that the Hopper/Steve team-up isn’t necessarily as feasible as, say, exploring Hopper’s relationship with Winona Ryder’s Joyce, he is at least aware what the audience would love to see. Both Hopper and Steve have been standouts in the series, which is saying something when you have a young girl with telekinetic powers, extra-dimensional creatures, and some heavy-handed ’80s nostalgia already firmly in place as the show’s main selling points. But considering the pivot Stranger Things successfully pulled off when it became clear what an untapped commodity Keery was, perhaps the Duffers will make some changes to allocate more screen time for Hopper and Steve together in the upcoming season.
The same thing goes for Hopper’s past. The internet has been abuzz with speculation regarding the character’s association with Hawkins Lab and whether or not there’s more to the story of his daughter’s death. But as Harbour points out, there’s a great deal more about Hopper worth investigating. Thankfully, given the popularity of Stranger Things it’s likely the series will be around long enough to discover all there is to know about Chief Hopper, not to mention see him find out the secret to Steve’s great hair.
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Stranger Things season 3 does not have an official release date.