A Stranger Things season 4 set photo hints Jim Hopper is going to return. The Hawkins police chief, of course, sacrificed himself at the end of season 3, seemingly dying in an explosion at the Russian lab. His apparent demise forever changed the status quo of the show, as the Byers family (with Eleven in tow) moved out of Hawkins in an attempt to start fresh. Of course, there are those convinced Hopper is still alive.
The Stranger Things season 3 post-credit scene teased the Russians are in possession of a prisoner referred to as "The American," which many theorize is Hopper. There's also a fun phone line Easter egg the gives fans further hope. However, the creative team is unsurprisingly remaining mum on the subject of Hopper's fate, and will probably try to keep it under wraps for as long as humanly possible. As viewers await the answers to the questions they have, a set photo might have revealed something.
Shared by ChihuahuawithBoombox on the Stranger Things subreddit is a photo of what appears to be the season 4 set in Rome, GA. The picture clearly features a vehicle resembling Hopper's trademark Chevy Blazer, leading fans to believe Hopper is back and has resumed his duties as Hawkins' police chief. Check out the image by clicking on the link below:
Even though that is a retro Chevy Blazer, it doesn't necessarily mean Hopper survived what happened at the lab. Perhaps this from a flashback sequence involving Hopper. It's also important to keep in mind Hopper's Blazer wasn't exactly his property. The vehicle was officially sanctioned by the Hawkins Police Department; maybe the Blazer model is their car of choice and they ordered a new one for whoever took over the position. Remember, Hopper's Blazer met a rough end in season 3 (the engine exploded), so if this scene is set in the present day, it likely isn't the same car. Even if Hopper is still alive, he would need a functioning vehicle in order to do his job.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of Hopper as Stranger Things progresses toward its fourth season. David Harbour does have an option for season 4 on his contract, but that doesn't mean it will definitely be picked up. It'll all depend on what the Duffer brothers have in mind and how the story evolves. It's hard to imagine Stranger Things without one of its most popular and iconic characters, but maybe that's the point. His death was a highly emotional and devastating twist in the show, and it would be a shame if it was undone to give viewers more of Hopper. If he is to return, the Duffers will have to make sure it's organic and doesn't cheapen what took place at the end of season 3. That's a tall order, but one that's doable if executed properly.