Now that we've all had time to absorb that Stranger Things 4 teaser and the fact that, yes, Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) will be back in the flesh for the sci-fi/fantasy series' next season, fans are starting to piece together theories about how he might've survived that laboratory explosion and what it may mean that he is "the American" in Russian captivity right now. While some of these ideas are less likely to prove true than others, there are some solid points being made on social media right now.
For starters, there are quite a few people who are positively convinced Hopper's relocation to Russia will somehow connect the story to Black Widow and turn him into Red Guardian, thus bridging the Stranger Things realm with the MCU. (Sure, it's a little silly, but the similarities here are pretty spooky.)
Lemme explain!— Ben 💙 (@BenHartWithNoE) February 14, 2020
So Hopper "dies" and goes to Russia
He changes his name to "Alexi" in honor of an old friend
Eventually starts hanging out with Natasha Romanoff
This can mean only one thing...
Stranger Things is in the MCU! BOOM! CONFIRMED!! pic.twitter.com/JBAhH3ZxQZ
Theory:— Zesty (@ZestyZeo) February 14, 2020
Hopper is alive in stranger things but the crew never find him and he is trained by the Russians and becomes Red Guardian from the black widow movie
Stranger things is confirmed part of the MCU
Meanwhile, there are other fans who suspect Hopper may have absorbed Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) powers at the tail end of Stranger Things 3, which could explain why her telekinetic talents suddenly faded and how he wound up transporting himself to another location before or during the blast.
#StrangerThings THEORY: what if Hopper is the one that has powers now— Gumshoe Samma (@theRealiHeart) February 14, 2020
There's also the possibility that Hopper went to the Upside Down and was retrieved by the Russians, who have their own gate going on.
i have a theory: hopper was in the upside down but then the russians opened the gate (thats how they got that demogorgon). hopper went out from that place and found himself inside a russian base +— where's billy? (@yennbargrove) February 14, 2020
But what if the Mind Flayer got ahold of him during that time on the other side?
I'm thinking that mind flayer controlled hopper's mind. https://t.co/P02qJG11qU— Depressed FC (@Saiyem10) February 16, 2020
And what if his eventual reunion with El is anything but cheery?
One thing we do know is where Hopper will be when Stranger Things returns to Netflix for Season 4. In a letter to audiences, show co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer teased, "he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human... and other."
Stranger Things 4 is now officially in production. Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Netflix.