Details remain (predictably) tightly under wraps for the upcoming season three of Stranger Things — save for the ginormous upside-down monster we saw lurking in the season two finale that will likely wreak havoc on the town of Hawkins (which will also be welcoming the brand new Starcourt Mall). During a screening for the Netflix thriller at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles on Friday night, however, David Harbour (Chief Jim Hopper) spilled a few beans at what we can expect from the third season.
While the first two seasons drew heavily from the works of Stephen Spielberg, Stephen King, and John Carpenter, the Duffer brothers have found an unlikely source of inspiration for the “darker, scarier, bigger, and broader” third installment: the goofy 1985 Chevy Chase comedy Fletch.
In the film, Chase plays a reporter who is hired by a millionaire with terminal cancer to murder him and put him out of his misery, but he eventually finds that the man is not in fact sick and accidentally stumbles into a life-threatening scheme. How this will factor into the Stranger Things universe is unclear, but Harbour teased the connection.
“The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies. And ‘Fletch’ is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from ‘Stranger Things’ and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.’”
He also let it slip that his character’s relationship with Millie Bobbie Brown’s Eleven is not going to get any less complicated anytime soon, as the psychokinetic tween begins to navigate the murky depths of puberty.
“Their relationship is going to get far more complex, because, you know, things happen to girls and boys when they’re 13 and 14,” he said. “A lot of changes go on in the body and in your social life, and I don’t think he’s going to handle watching her become a woman in front of his eyes very well. That’s a horrifying thing for him — maybe even more so than fighting inter-dimensional monsters.”
When it comes to a possible love connection between Winona Ryder’s Joyce and Hopper that’s been shipped by fans since the first season, Harbour remained tight-lipped, saying only that he would “love to see them get together” but admitted that there may be other people “in the mix.”
“From the very beginning, I thought that these are two tortured, messed up, beautiful people who are like puzzle pieces that can’t stand each other but actually need each other.”
Unfortunately we won’t know Hopper and Joyce’s relationship statuses anytime soon, because season three of Stranger Things isn’t set to premiere until summer of 2019.