Sean Astin in The Strain

With just one month left of the summer, the time has come to look forward to fall premieres of your favorite TV shows. And one of the most highly anticipated of these is Netflix's sci-fi period piece Stranger Things, which will debut its second season just in time for Halloween. The series was the breakout show of last summer, instantly accruing tons of loyal fans, and earning a slew of Emmy Nominations (although Winona Ryder was totally snubbed for her performance as Joyce). The show's sophomore season will bring back all of your favorite characters from Hawkins, while also introducing a handful of newcomers. One of these is Sean Astin's Bob Newby (lol), who will reportedly be the Barb of Season 2.

This bold prediction comes to us from Stranger Things producer/director Shawn Levy, who recently spoke to Screen Rant about the show's second season. It's here where Levy revealed how Sean Astin's Bob was the potential to be just as beloved as our dearly departed Barb. He said:

Yes. It's Sean Astin. Yeah. Sean Astin as Bob is going to be, I'm saying it, but he's kind of going to be the Barb of Season 2. His part is substantially bigger. He's in a lot of episodes. He is magnificent. And one thing the Duffers do really well is when they see what an actor is capable of, they write to that. They don't make the actor play what's on the page. They often change what's on the page to exploit everything that's unique about that actor. They did it with Steve Harrington last season and this season again and they did it big time with Sean Astin who as Bob I think is going to be a Barb level fan favorite.

As if having Rudy/Samwise Gamgee joining the Stranger Things cast wasn't exciting enough, it appears that his performance is fantastic enough to warrant fan attention before Season 2 is even released.

While Shawn Levy's statement is yet another reason to be excited for Stranger Things' return to the small screen, it seems fitting that he referenced how small Barb's role actually was in Season 1. While actress Shannon Purser was adorable and charming as Barb, she wasn't actually present through most of the show's first season. The demogorgon snatched her up pretty quickly, and we didn't see her return alive after her infamous pool scene in Episode 3. This small amount of screen time is why some are irritated with Purser's Emmy nomination as Barb, considering how much more her fellow nominees had to do in their respective roles.

Not much is known about Sean Astin's Bob, except that he is a former classmate of both Joyce and Hopper who runs Hawkins' Radio Shack. We'll be able to get more information when Stranger Things releases its second season on October 27, 2017.

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