Though there was ample speculation that the “American” spoken of in the post-credits tag for Stranger Things 3 wasn’t the recently vaporized Hopper, but rather Matthew Modine’s unaccounted-for Dr. Brenner, a new teaser from Netflix shows us that, nope, the obvious answer was the right one. David Harbour’s small-town sheriff, sporting all his body parts and a newly-shorn Statham dome, is ensconced in some nebulous Russian military operation, workin’ on the railroad on some snowy outpost.
The Duffer Brothers confirmed as much in a statement. “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. 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...”
Enough with the ellipses, guys. We get that its ominous!
“Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more,” they continued. “In the meantime—pray for the American.”
Details regarding Hopper’s involvement with the Russians are murky, obviously, but all those hammers and pickaxes—not to mention that old-school snowmobile—have us again ruminating on the possibility that Hopper navigated both space and time when that laser exploded.
As we wrote following the third season:
Could that post-credits scene—the one with a cell holding an unnamed “American”—actually take place during another timeline? Was Hopper sucked through time somehow? A glimpse into the past would be helpful, after all—just how did the Russians get mixed up in all of this? Is their Demogorgon the Demogorgon from the first season? Let us not forget that Stranger Things was originally going to explore the rumored Montauk Project, a U.S. government operation involving Nazi scientists and efforts to unlock time travel. It’s curious, then, that the specific snippets of Back To The Future we hear would have to do with the creation of a time machine. There’s also that extended scene of Steve and Robin unraveling the complexities of time travel as depicted in the film, as well as Max and Steve flaunting Marty McFly’s skateboard and vest, respectively. There’s also this theory that made our eyes glaze over.
Outside of this teaser—and one even less revealing teaser from last year—all we know about Stranger Things 4 is the title of its first episode, “The Hellfire Club.” Read up on our thoughts about that—and its potential connections to X-Men and Satanism—here.