In case you had fallen out of love with Stranger Things after the events of the Season 3 finale, Netflix just dropped a Valentine’s Day surprise to woo you back. A short teaser trailer for the show’s fourth season — titled “From Russia With Love” — confirmed what many (including us) suspected: Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) survived the explosion that destroyed the Starcourt Mall and the gate to the Upside Down that the shopping mecca’s secret Soviet owners were trying to re-open. As a “reward” for putting his life on the line, Hopper has been escorted back to the U.S.S.R., where he’s had his scruff shaved away and put to work building a railroad in the arctic Russian tundra. “For the faithful, Happy Valentine’s Day,” Harbour wrote in an Instagram post announcing the news of Hopper’s return. (Watch the trailer above.)
The specific explanation behind Hopper’s anticipated resurrection will no doubt be outlined in Season 4, set to arrive on Netflix later this year. In a statement, Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer revealed that the sheriff has more to worry about than just the frigid temperatures of the Kamchatka Peninsula. “It’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other,” the duo writes. “Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything… Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime — pray for the American.”
If Hopper survived, we’re hoping that means that his Season 3 nemesis, Grigori (played Andrey Ivchenko), made it out alive as well. When we chatted with Ivchenko last year, the Ukrainian-born actor offered up his own theory for how his Terminator-esque assassin could be back: “Hopper throws me into the cannon while the cannon is shooting the laster to open the Upside Down gate. And that gate is slightly open, with a significant crack in the wall. So when he throws me into the cannon, I could easily be transported into the Upside Down. That could happen, you know? I could wake up in the Upside Down.”
Meanwhile, Stranger Things fans are waking up to a Valentine’s Day surprise that has resulted in an outpouring of love on Twitter.
Many are also noting the the timing of Hopper’s Russian sojourn and the impending arrival of Marvel’s Black Widow, in which the actor plays the Red Guardian, Natasha Romanoff’s former teammate and the Soviet answer to Captain America.
So he loses his memory, joins the Russians in building a railroad, ends up falling in love, has a few daughters, one of them grows up to be Black Widow.— MustLoveComics (@BatmansChinHair) February 14, 2020
Stranger Things is part of the MCU. https://t.co/xt15peHdjO
Stranger Things season 3 post credit scene takes place in Russia. The Russian in the prison says "No. Not the American" [aka Hopper]— - (@DANVERSWIDOWS) February 14, 2020
Black Widow teaser shows us Alexei breaking out of what looks like a prison.
MCU x Stranger Things is coming 🤧 pic.twitter.com/fueiQaBHb7
If we are being set up for a Stranger Things/Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover, we’re putting this out there now: Jonathan Byers becomes Johnny Storm.
All three seasons of Stranger Things are currently streaming on Netflix; Season 4 will premiere later this year
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