While the finale of Stranger Things 3 had left the fate of Hopper up in the air, the first teasers for the fourth season have confirmed that he's back. While the identity of the Russian Hopper is still kind of a mystery, David Harbour has confirmed that the fourth season will be giving us more reveals when it comes to Hopper's backstory.
Talking during the Liverpool Comic-Con (via ComicBook) earlier this year, Harbour reveals:
"[Eleven discovers] five boxes, one of which has Brenner's stuff from Hawkins Lab, one of which says 'Dad,' and one of which says 'Vietnam,' and one says 'New York,'… So there are these three things that we've established in the season that if we don't pay off, it means that they're bad writers. And the Duffer brothers are very good writers. So I know specifically that in Season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper's backstory."
Apparently, this is something that Harbour has been aware of since he started working on the show. We know that Hopper has kind of a dark past in the show, and it looks like we'll be uncovering it, now that everyone that he cares about kind of thinks that he's dead.
If anything, Harbour is definitely enthusiastic about delving into the history of the character. He says, "It's one of the things that I've known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven't expressed it yet. And finally we're gonna express it in a big way. It's my favorite thing about him that you guys don't know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and dad."
For now, production for the fourth season is on hiatus thanks to COVID-19, but hopefully we get a release by 2021.