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Gaten Matarazzo Teases ‘Scariest’ Season of ‘Stranger Things’ Yet, How He Knew Hopper Was Coming Back (Exclusive)

What’s in store for the Scoops Troop? Gaten Matarazzo can’t say much about the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things other than one simple word: “Yikes.”

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Cast From Season 1 to Now: Photos

“I think most would probably say it’s the scariest [season] out of the previous three, which I love because it’s very fun to film,” the 18-year-old Netflix star told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, January 13, while promoting the new Nerds Gummy Clusters since he tells Us he is “proudly a nerd.” The campaign also has him inviting fans to visit his Instagram page and tag their clusters of close friends to get in on the fun.

Gaten Matarazzo Teases 'Scariest' Season of 'Stranger Things' Yet, How He Knew Hopper Was Coming Back
Gaten Matarazzo attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on January 19, 2020. David Fisher/Shutterstock

Stranger Things quickly attracted a massive fanbase after it first dropped on the streaming service in July 2016. The latest season left viewers on a major cliffhanger — and the show’s creators, Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, have kept their lips sealed about what’s to come. However, the brothers hinted in August 2020 that season 4 wouldn’t be the end of the story.

“We know what the end is, and we know when it is,” Ross, 36, told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “[The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”

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Matarazzo and his costars — including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Winona Ryder and more — are all expected to return for the next chapter. Fans of the series were shocked to see David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, return in a season 4 teaser in February 2020 after the character’s fate became a big question mark after the season 3 finale. Matarazzo, however, had a good feeling that Hopper would be back for more.

Gaten Matarazzo Teases 'Scariest' Season of 'Stranger Things' Yet, How He Knew Hopper Was Coming Back
Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in Netflix series ‘Stranger Things.’ Netflix

“I guess most of the cast had a pretty good idea that he might be making a return, but they weren’t too sure about it from the beginning,” the New Jersey native told Us. “By the time we had gotten to the table read [and] we had all started reading together, it had been pretty clear. But it was great to have it confirmed when we saw David there.”

Harbour previously teased “a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory” coming viewers’ way during an appearance at last year’s Liverpool Comic Con and said that season 4 was “definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years.”

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Even while filming the dark story lines, Matarazzo and his costars do their best to keep a “happy, energetic” atmosphere on set.

Gaten Matarazzo NERDS Gummy Clusters
Gaten Matarazzo Courtesy of Gaten Matarazzo

“We don’t have to try too hard. We like each other, which is always a plus,” he joked on Wednesday. “As well as having a lot of the heavy, dark stuff in the show, it’s surrounded by a lot of lightheartedness [and] a good amount of comedy. … We usually have a fun time on set.”

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