Harbour himself has been trying to throw people off the scent after — spoiler alert — his character seemingly met his end in the underground Russian facility back in season 3. “We don’t know yet, we don’t know,” the actor said when asked again about a comeback during German Comic Con Dortmund. Most recently, reports about a supposed cast list for the new episodes were floating around and suggesting he wouldn’t return. Now, we know for sure.
At the end of season 3 in a post-credits sequence, operatives at a snowy Russian facility made mention of an “American” being held in their custody. The new teaser for season 4 confirms Hopper is that captive and he’s being forced into working on some kind of railroad with other prisoners.
“For the faithful, Happy Valentine’s Day,” Harbour commented on the reveal over Instagram.
“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway — and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!” series creators Matt and Ross Duffer said in a statement. “Although 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. 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.”
It’s also further confirmation that Stranger Things 4 will take us far outside the realm of Hawkins, Indiana. As Ross previously said, the story this time around will “feel very different.”
Now we just need to figure out what the Russians are doing with that Demogorgon, another reveal in season 3. “Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, that is a tease,” Ross hinted at the time. “We try to tee up some season 4.”