Stranger Things is going to get “dark” for Season 3 — even with Hopper being a new dad to Eleven

Stranger Things Season 2 may have seen Will Byers possessed by the Mind Flayer and the brutal murders of one Bob Newby and Mews the cat, but apparently the Netflix series is about to get a whole lot darker in Season 3.

Filming for the third season of the breakout Netflix science fiction series is currently underway, and details from the upcoming season are being firmly kept under wraps. But executive producer Shawn Levy recently dropped clues regarding the season’s darker tone. In a new interview with Deadline, he revealed, “[It’s] definitely going to yet darker still, places that I think audiences are going to really love.”  But while the series may be getting darker, it’s not going to lose its famous wit. Levy added, It’s got so much heart and humor.”

The darker tone for the season is just the latest in coy details Levy has dropped on fans, who are eagerly awaiting news from the beloved thriller series. In March, Levy confirmed that Season 3 would see a time jump, picking up in the summer of 1985.

However David Harbour, who scored his second Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Chief Jim Hopper in Season 2, hinted at a few of the famous 1980s references fans should expect from the upcoming season. Without being too specific, Harbour directed Deadline toward major films set in “a specific” season in 1985.

“If you’re a real fan of Stranger Things and you really want to know, Harbour divulged, “I would go look at the great films that were released in ’85, of which there were many, and just go down that list and think of the possibilities that we could be going with. I think it is a specific season to 1985, and so you’ll see references to that.

For reference, Back to the Future, The Goonies, and Cocoon were all released in the summer of 1985 — aka the same time Stranger Things 3 takes place.

In addition to dropping hints about impending ’80s references, Harbour also opened up about what Hopper will be like in Season 3. He told Deadline that the upcoming season will see Hopper as the culmination of the gritty, “Columbo”-esque sheriff introduced in Season 1 and the more paternal Hopper as seen in Season 2.

“There was a sort of swashbuckling guy that we put on the back burner, so I think we’ll see a little more of the swashbuckling Hopper you may have liked from Season 1," Harbour said. "It’s almost like [Season] 1 plus two, equals three. It’s like you have this third character now, who goes back to the swashbuckling guy of Season 1, but also has behind him this adopted daughter who he loves very much, so it’s really cool.

Of how the series continues to break into new territory, Harbour said,“We’re experimenting a lot this season, and we’re taking risks, and I hope that they pay off but they are risks. We’re going into territories we’ve never been to before, and it’s exciting.”

Oh no, Stranger Things is getting darker and riskier? As if we weren’t already nervous for our beloved Hawkins residents. Hopefully Season 3 hits Netflix sooner rather than later so we can ensure the survival of our favorite Demogorgon hunters.

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