The anticipated third season of Netflix’s smash hit Stranger Things is “definitely going to yet darker still, places that I think audiences are going to really love,” executive producer and director Shawn Levy said Thursday after the series received 12 Emmy nominations. “It’s got so much heart and humor.”
Speaking in the aftermath of scoring another slew of noms this morning, including its second consecutive Outstanding Drama Series nom, Levy added he’s been shooting in Georgia for weeks and the season is “shaping up really, really well.”
David Harbour, who snagged a Supporting Actor nom, hinted that the season will be inspired by some “epic” movies of 1985, but said he would “get in trouble” if he revealed which ones.
Emmys: Netflix Muscles Its Way To Most Nominations, Edging Leader HBO As Streamers Continue To Gain Ground
“If you’re a real fan of Stranger Things and you really want to know,” he said, “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.”
Describing Season 1 as “very Stephen King-y” while Season 2 was “more Spielberg-y,” Harbour added: “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.”
Season 3 will also see Harbour combine versions of his character Jim Hopper that we saw in the first and second seasons.
“We had a little softer season with Jim in Season 2,” he said, “where he was really working off these fatherly instincts and understanding a responsibility that was larger than himself, and I think one of the things that we missed from Season 1 was this guy who goes into government facilities and punches people in the face. He’s not a doofus, but he’s a bit of a Columbo character.”
He said the third season will see a combination of the more daring Hopper, along with the softer, more fatherly version. “There was a sort of swashbuckling guy that we put on the back burner,” he said, “so I think we’ll see a little more of the swashbuckling Hopper you may have liked from Season 1. 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.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.