Stranger Things season 3 will be taking inspiration from Chevy Chase’s 1985 action comedy, Fletch. With little known about the plot of the upcoming season – and only a retro ad for Hawkins’ new Starcourt Mall to serve as a teaser – fans can only look at the upcoming season’s inspirations in order to glean some information as to what season 3 will entail when it premieres in 2019.
Stranger Things has been a series defined by its twists and turns that keep viewers guessing from one episode to the next. Much of the aesthetic choices for the series have been displayed through homages to ’80s pop culture, especially the works of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, among others. For the upcoming season, however, the writers are paying specific attention to films from 1985. With season 1 taking place in 1983 and season 2 set the following year, it is likely that season 3 will be set in 1985, and there are certainly some strong film choices for the Duffer Brothers to reference to keep their ’80s vibe going. The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, and Back to the Future were all released that year – and each of them could tie into the world of Hawkins in fun ways.
In a recent interview with Variety, David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper in the series, stated that one of the films that has directly inspired the new season is Fletch. Explaining the film’s inspiration, Harbour said:
“The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies. And ‘Fletch’ is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from ‘Stranger Things’ and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.”
Fletch follows the story of Chevy Chase’s Irwin M. Fletcher, a Los Angeles Times reporter who takes on different roles and identities in order to get the scoop on his latest story. The film developed a cult following and has had a reboot in the works for some time with Jason Sudeikis set to star as Fletch. With the introduction of new actors to the cast, it’s possible that newcomer Jake Busey’s character, Bruce, will be the source of much of the Fletch inspiration. Busey will portray Bruce, a “journalist for The Hawkins Post, with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor.” The introduction of a questionable journalist in a season set in 1985 certainly seems like the most plausible place to insert references to Chase’s classic role.
Regardless of how the Duffers choose to pay homage to Fletch, the choice of film is a fun curveball for fans who are expecting the seemingly inevitable references to classics such as Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club in season 3. The comedy homage also may come as a surprise after the promise of a bigger and darker season in 2019. With so much time before fans revisit Hawkins again next summer, it will be interesting to see what shape the story will take and how the series will continue to dive deeper into the ’80s nostalgia that has made it so great.