Stranger Things is, in a lot of ways, more tapestry than TV show. Netflix’s breakout hit in the Kids Ridin’ Bikes horror subgenre from the Duffer Brothers mixes and matches the tones, touches, and a direct plot point or two from the horror staples of the 1980’s. So far, those inspirations have been On Brand; a smidge of John Carpenter, a dollop of American Werewolf in London and Thriller style John Landis, and a whole heaping of the two untouchable Steves, King and Spielberg. But according to actor/penguin whisperer David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in the show, season 3 of Stranger Things is drawing on elements of Fletch, the 1985 comedy starring Chevy Chase.
That is…not what I expected Stranger Things season 3 to be based on. Speaking to Variety, Harbour agreed:
“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 is an action-comedy directed by Michael Ritchie that stars Chase as Irwin M. “Fletch” Fletcher, a hard-digging Los Angeles Times journalist who gets involved in a complex murder plot while reporting undercover as a homeless man. It is, like many 1980’s comedies, filled to the brim with both shenanigans and hijinx.
The most likely source of the Fletch-spiration is newcomer Jake Busey, who joins the cast [via Deadline] as Bruce, a “journalist for The Hawkins Post with ‘questionable morals and a sick sense of humor.’”
The real mystery, though, is how any of this leads to Joe Keery‘s Steve Harrington working behind the counter of an ice cream shop and wearing an “Ahoy” sailor’s hat, the most delightful image put to film since the invention of the camera.
Stranger Things season 3—which also adds Cary Elwes and Maya Hawke to the cast—is currently in production.