Stranger Things creators, The Duffer brothers, continue to avoid revealing Jim Hopper's fate, despite actor David Harbour's best efforts. The sci-fi and horror-tinged drama burst onto screens via Netflix back in 2016. Arriving with little to no initial fanfare, the show's popularity exploded through social media and word of mouth. By the arrival of season 2, the show was an outright cultural phenomenon. That passionate following only intensified when season 3 was released earlier this year - garnering over 40 million viewers in four days. Stranger Things also earned a slew of awards recognition, including Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
Harbour debuted on the show in the first episode of season one, playing beloved town sheriff, Jim Hopper, to great acclaim. He reprised the role for both season 2 and season 3, as multiple residents of Hawkins' teamed up to battle the otherworldly forces plaguing the town. Season 3 also saw the introduction of more real-world villains in the form of Russian agents attempting to break through to the realm known as The Upside Down. In an effort to prevent their machinations and close a rift into the malevolent dimension, Hopper and Joyce (Winona Ryder) infiltrated a top-secret base. Unfortunately, their endeavors were interrupted by a persistent, Terminator-esque enemy which ultimately left Hopper trapped next to the machine they were seeking to destroy. With the world at stake, Hopper urged Joyce to push forward with the plan - seemingly at the expense of his own life. Despite that, a post-credits scene centered on a mysterious "American" provoked a wave fan theories that the reports of Hopper's death were greatly exaggerated.
Appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Harbour addressed the fact that even he didn't know the answer. "At the end, you know, there's this thing where it's American," the actor reiterated. "And I was like, 'Oh, clearly I'm The American'...and then I haven't gotten any phone calls." With it emphasized at that moment that only The Duffer brothers truly know and that he is currently in flux as an actor, Harbour decided to Facetime them live from the show. When he finally got through, he wasted little time in asking them outright whether Hopper was dead. Unfortunately, even with Meyers himself offering them a one dollar bribe, the showrunners offered only that "they are still working it out". Harbour immediately hung up, jokily calling them "no help" and "awful". Check out the full clip below:
Harbour had a number of roles on screens big and small over the years. Since the initial release of Stranger Things, however, he joined Millie Bobby Brown (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Finn Wolfhard (IT Chapter 2), and the rest of the cast in watching their careers truly soar. Harbour has been confirmed to be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year, playing Alexei Shostakov (aka. Red Guardian) in the long-overdue Black Widow solo movie. The actor spends the majority of the video then lovingly praising The Duffer brothers and their geekiness. He also discusses his upcoming role as host of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
It will no doubt be Stranger Things that fans will remain eager to see him return, however. Obviously, though, The Duffer brothers were never going to knowingly reveal such a big secret before the release of season 4. Still, it was a hilariously valiant effort on Harbour's part. Whether the character is dead, a hostage of The Russians, or trapped in The Upside Down, will have to remain to be seen. Whatever the case, though, fans will assuredly continue to speculate and debate as they eagerly await the answers (and inevitable new mysteries) that the new season will bring.
Stranger Things season 4 is expected to air sometime in 2020
Source: Late Night with Seth Meyers