The icon that inspired ‘Stranger Things’ character Hopper
Credit: Netflix


The icon that inspired 'Stranger Things' character Hopper

With its blend of 1980s nostalgia, supernatural mysteries, and a cast of endearing characters, Stranger Things has become a cultural phenomenon. 

One character, in particular, won hearts right away after the show debuted in 2016: Chief Jim Hopper, portrayed by David Harbour, who adopted the orphan renegade Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).

During a candid moment, the Stranger Things cast was asked about the movies that echo through the corridors of their set, the films that shape their performances and the show’s atmosphere. Harbour, the man behind the badge of Hawkins, Indiana’s police chief, offered a revealing glimpse into the minds of the creators of the show, the Duffer brothers.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Harbour shared with a grin when he was quizzed on “the movies you’ll always hear quoted on the Stranger Things set.” 

The Duffers have an apparent penchant for likening Hopper to the swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones. “I think the Duffers really like to compare Hopper to Indiana Jones. They also think that, for some reason, I sound like Harrison Ford a lot,” said Harbour before he tried to mimic the legend, “When I say things like, you know, ‘Get off my lawn,’ but that’s Clint Eastwood. I’m always saying things to bad guys, like mean things to bad guys, and like, they always think I sound like Harrison Ford. So they’re always bringing that up.”

The parallels between Hopper and Indiana Jones are more than skin deep. Both characters exude a rugged charm that conceals their vulnerability, and both of them have a protective fatherly vibe.

Stranger Things is gearing up for a fifth and final season, aiming for a 2025 release, even though that might get delayed due to the ongoing WGA and SAGAFTRA strikes. 

Speaking about the series ending, Harbour told DiscussingFilm: “What’s funny is when I started the show, I never ever wanted it to end,” he said. “That’s why I love the show. I think it’s a great show, even if I wasn’t in it. Now we’re almost nine years from filming the first season, and I think it is time for it to end. But it is, of course, very bittersweet.”

“You know, there’s a sadness there,” Harbour continued, “But also, we’ve all grown up. It is time for us to leave that nest and try other things and different projects. And to let [creators] the Duffer Brothers try different things as well. I mean, those guys are so talented. I want to see what they come up with next. So it is bittersweet, but it’s definitely time.”