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David Harbour is heading to Marvel. The Stranger Things star has signed on to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe via Black Widow. Outside of him being added to the ensemble, nothing else is known about the part. Even character details and the size of the role are shrouded in mystery.
Now to the question many Stranger Things fans are undoubtedly already pondering. Will David Harbour’s role as the beloved Hopper be affected? It would not be the first time an actor left their popular television show after joining the MCU. Time to consider the possibilities.
He Leaves the Show
This is the outcome that no Stranger Things fan probably wants. Given that David Harbour is finding success outside of the Netflix series, it may be too great a pull to resist. Joining the MCU is a huge career move.
It is not unheard of for television actors to depart their respective shows after earning a Marvel contract. For instance, The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira is leaving the long-running zombie drama after joining the MCU, although she didn't specifically say Marvel is why she's leaving the zombie apocalypse. Still, David Harbour could do something similar and exit Stranger Things, if his contract with the Netflix show would allow such a thing.
Next Season Gets Delayed
If the next season of Stranger Things gets delayed, David Harbour’s Marvel status could be a non-issue. He could continue playing Hopper and balance his role in Black Widow. Likewise, managing the rest of Harbour’s time on the show would be doable.
It would not be unusual for a series to take a break between filming a new season. Stranger Things will have gone more than a year and a half between the premieres of Season 2 and Season 3. Assuming that Hopper survives Season 3, David Harbour would only have to manage one (possibly two) more seasons. With willing help or a production delay, it could be done.
He'll Play Minimal Role In Next Season
Hopper could be seen less in Season 4. As sad as that would be for fans, it could enable David Harbour to pursue outside projects. As well as keep him around for more Stranger Things to come. It would not be the ideal situation for fans of the character. Less is never more when it comes to one of your favorite characters.
However, less is better than nothing at all. Seeing Hopper for less time would impact the remaining seasons. He has had a pivotal role in the series. If he is brought into play those essential scenes and nothing else, Stranger Things could give fans enough Hopper to satiate the story. Hey, just don't kill him off!
This is the most hopeful option. David Harbour’s role in Black Widow and overall MCU may not impact his work on Stranger Things at all. How? It may be a supporting role. Hence, a less time-intensive commitment.
If he has a larger role, there could be a solution for that as well. Some creative scheduling could keep David Harbour in heavily-seen roles in the MCU and Stranger Things.
Catch David Harbour in Stranger Things Season 3 when it premieres July 4 on Netflix.