When Stranger Things was first released on Netflix 5 years ago, it was immediately a standout and popular series, thanks in part due to its unique tone and aesthetic that is nonetheless familiar, given the show's myriad influences from horror and sci-fi. While the upcoming Season 4 of the series is apparently doing things a little different this time around, star David Harbour has revealed two fan-favorite films that had a big influence on the new season:, one from the nearly period-appropriate ‘90s and another classic surprisingly from the ‘60s!
Ugh. I want to tell you something. I have my prepackaged answer, which is true, that it’s a super-exciting season. It’s gone to a whole other place. It started out, in Season 1, with this small-town police chief, and now it’s become this sprawling thing with a Russian prison and a monster. The brothers [series creators Matt and Ross Duffer] are big into video games, manga and anime, and we definitely play on that this season. We talked about The Great Escape and Alien 3 as influences.
Stranger Things' past seasons have definitely worn some noticeable genre inspirations on their metaphorical sleeves, from Stephen King books to Stephen King films and other non-King things, with David Harbour having even compared the series to Indiana Jones in the past. The show's wide world of throwback inspirations gives the series a comforting, nostalgic feel, and it seems like we'll get even more of that in Season 4 thanks to 1963’s The Great Escape and 1992’s Alien 3.
Well, David Fincher's polarizing sequel Alien 3 certainly makes a lot of sense, since we get major Alien vibes through the entire series, really. The Great Escape gives us a little more insight about what we may be able to expect narrative-wise, though. We left off in Season 3 with David Harbour’s character Hopper as a prisoner in Russia (sound familiar, Marvel fans?), so the correlation with The Great Escape leads me to believe that Season 4 could focus on breaking Hooper out of that prison.
We already know that Season 4 will tell us more about where Hopper has gone, and Harbour has said that Season 4 is his favorite so far. David Harbour also gives us a little more insight that seems to possibly confirm that Season 4 will focus a lot more on his character, which totally makes sense given what we already know and how involved Harbour has been in releasing teasers. Here it is in the star’s own words:
In terms of Hopper, you get to see a lot of back story that you haven’t seen before, it’s only been hinted at. As opposed to this dad he’s become, eating chips and salsa and yelling at his teenage daughter, you’ll unearth some more of the warrior that he had been.