We may still be living off the vapors of Stranger Things 2, which is now more than a year removed from its debut, as we await the hugely anticipated arrival of our third visit to Hawkins. So it’s reassuring that one of the show’s biggest stars says there’s always been a road map for where the Netflix smash is headed — and how it’ll end.
David Harbour, who plays Sheriff Jim Hopper on the nostalgic Spielbergian homage to all things 1980s, says Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have always known where the series will end up, including the fate of Harbour's own character.
In a recent, far-ranging c|net interview, Harbour compared the show’s season-by-season evolution to that of landmark installments in the Star Wars franchise, adding that there’s still plenty of wiggle room about how many seasons Stranger Things will end up lasting… so long as it’s no more than five.
“We're either going to season 4 or season 5. It's still being debated,” he said. “I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with the Duffer brothers right from day one.
“…[T]he great thing about this is that we knew what season 1 was, and we had ideas about if it extended — because we didn't know we'd get picked up — but if it extended, what the end of the actual thing would be. Like Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi have an arc to them. I think Stranger Things, be it season 4 or season 5, has an arc to it that I understand.”
Pledging that no one’s storyline will be left hanging, ahem, upside-down by the time the series ends, Harbour said he’s familiar with what happens to Sheriff Hopper.
“I know somewhat a lot of Hopper's place in that story because the more you can know about the end of your story, the more you can set up,” he explained. “I feel with acting you can sort of see a character make certain choices and you can feel what is behind it. As you see the end of the story, you'll start to feel why certain characters behaved certain ways. I think that stuff's really important, like knowing where your character's going… A lot of times you don't get that in TV.”
At least we don’t have to wait for Netflix to finally announce the debut date for Stranger Things 3 to get more sci-fi goodness out of Harbour. His fresh take on Hellboy, in a darker, grittier leading role directed by Game of Thrones alum Neil Marshall, scorches into theaters on April 12 of next year.