6:12am PT by Josh Wigler
'Stranger Things' Season 4: David Harbour's Return Confirmed
David Harbour's hard-hitting police chief Jim Hopper was presumed dead at the end of Stranger Things season three, though fans widely speculated he was somehow still alive. Speculate no more: the Duffer Brothers have officially confirmed the return of Hopper for season four, which is currently in production.
"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," brothers Matt and Ross Duffer revealed in a message written to fans "from Russia with love."
"It’s not all good news for our 'American,'" they continue. "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 …
"Season four is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime — pray for the American."
Adds executive producer and director Shawn Levy, "From the start, Stranger Things has been inspiring to all of us lucky enough to work on it. My adventure here in Lithuania in bringing the reveal of the 'American' to life has been a huge challenge but an even bigger inspiration, and we are so thankful to the city of Vilnius and the beautiful country of Lithuania for their hospitality. The Duffers and I have been working alongside the brilliant Netflix team for months to pull off this surprise. All the hard work was worth it, however, to bring our fans—the greatest fans in the world—this epic reveal they’ve been hoping and waiting for. And this is only the beginning."
As part of the announcement, Netflix has released the first official footage from Stranger Things season four, featuring a new look for Hopper — and it's a very different look than fans are used to from the large-and-in-charge hero.
Follow THR.com/StrangerThings for full coverage of the series.