The fourth series of Stranger Things is due for release on streaming giant Netflix in early 2021, but speculation is already rife about the fate of David Harbour’s character, Jim Hopper.
The stern policeman appeared to meet a sticky end in the finale of series three, supposedly killed in a blast at the secret Soviet facility under the Starcourt Mall.
The post credit scene
Loyal fans might have stuck around to see the end credits scene in the last episode of series three of Stranger things, which hinted at a surprise return for Hawkins’ chief of police.
Set in a Soviet prison facility in Kamchatka, Russia, the scene showed two guards walk along a row of rusty cells.
As one approaches a cell door to unlock it, the other guard stops him, saying “No, not the American”.
Many fans have suggested that “the American” could well be Hopper - captured by the fleeing Soviets and taken back to Russia as a prisoner.
And the scene could also give a glimpse of the plot of series four too.
The guards move to another cell and drag out its screaming inhabitant, bringing him down the corridor and down several flights of stairs and into an even dingier cell.
Once locked inside, the prisoner comes face to face with the cell’s inhabitant - you guessed it, the Soviets’ very own Demogorgon.
The new teaser trailer
The teaser trailer, released last week, answers a lot of fans’ questions, and opens on the edge of a snow-covered Russian forest, where a chain gang of prisoners is constructing a railway line.
Rows of prisoners struggle to hammer long nails into railway sleepers, under heavy guard from Soviet troops armed with AK-47s and accompanied by barking Alsatian dogs.
One large stooped figure in the chain gang stands with his back to the camera, before standing up straight and taking off his hat, as though he had heard something in the distance.It is revealed to be Hopper - looking much thinner and with a shaved head. He survived the explosion and was taken prisoner after all.
The screen cuts to black, and viewers are left with the distant and creepy sound of a Demogorgon’s growl.
“We’re not in Hawkins anymore”
Some fans have suggested that the next series of Stranger Things will be set in Russia, as the usual gang from Hawkins travel to the Soviet Union to rescue Hopper from prison, and kill the Demogorgon - which will almost certainly break loose.
While no details have been confirmed by the show’s creators, the Duffer brothers, one hint gives the fan theory some credibility.
A promotional poster for the upcoming series has the tagline: “We’re not in Hawkins anymore”. If we aren’t in Hawkins, could we be in Kamchatka instead?
We’ll have to wait and see.