How Stranger Things season 4 was affected by Black Widow

Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

It turns out that Stranger Things season 4 and Black Widow have more in common that just the charming actor David Harbour. And this is your warning: expect minor spoilers (one of which has basically been revealed by trailers) below.

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Harbour explained a surprising aspect about what it's like to be in two big properties at the same time. And we're wondering if Henry Cavill is taking notes, as it reminds us of his Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Justice League issue.

Basically, Harbour realized his roles in Stranger Things season 4 and Black Widow were too similar. In a moment that reminds us of when Antz and A Bug's Life came out the same season, Harbour is a dude in a Russian prison in both projects. The only difference? Stranger Things' next season is likely due out in 2022, long after Black Widow hits theaters on July 9, 2021.

Harbour began by explaining how he was the one who felt uncomfortable with a certain similarity, as it turns out we meet Shostakov in prison. The actor told Kimmel: "I’d grown out my hair and then I got cast in this other thing [Editor's note: he likely means Black Widow] to play a Russian prisoner. So I had this long hair and this beard, and I was like big and I thought, 'I can't be the same guy with long hair and a beard in the same prison.'"

We don't know if the Duffers agreed with him that this was a major problem, but Harbour began some snooping work on set that Marvel movie leakers would likely kill for, "taking pictures of the [Black Widow] set unbeknownst to anyone and sending them to The Duffer Brothers [Stranger Things' showrunners]." Why did they need the assets? Harbour wanted to make "sure they didn't use any of the same colors as the set and the look was different and the outfits were different."

Eventually Harbour decided that the hair was the step-too-far telling the Duffers "Guys we can't do this, I'm coming out with this Marvel movie, I can't have the beard and the hair." So that's why Hopper's got a bald head this season. 

Interesting, right? This is the kind of thing that Stranger Things fans probably didn't think about when they saw Hopper's new look in the first Stranger Things season 4 trailer. That said, we're happier for the change, as the shaved head makes it look like Hopper's been through a lot in this Russian prison.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.