Stranger Things Season 3 may have a new villain, and it won’t be of the supernatural variety.
Suspicion that humans will take on the villainous role comes after Charlie780561 noticed a string of new casting information on the Stranger Things IMDb page, which listed several characters, including a “Russian soldier,” “Russian Officer,” and “Russian Goon.” Those titles were changed by mid-December to just read “Soldier,” “Guard,” and “Goon,” though the cast list for Season 3 still listed Ryan Mari as a “Russian guard” for three episodes in 2019 – “The Sauna Test,” “The Bite,” and “The Battle of Starcourt.”
Although the information isn’t necessarily credible given that IMDb pages can easily be edited by just about anyone, many fans of the series seem to think them to be true, with many coming up with very plausible theories as to how Russians could play into the season.
According to Reddit user jimbo805, one possibility is that the so-called Russian guard, soldier, and goon will play into “Mall Rats,” one of the eight episode titles revealed earlier this month.
“We’ll discover that Starcourt Industries, which owns and runs the mall, is actually a Soviet front,” the Reddit user theorized. “The ‘rats’ are actually Soviet spies. We’ll begin to learn what these rats are up to. (In 1985 ‘Russia’ did not exist as a country. What we now call Russia was then known as the Soviet Union.) I think we’ll also see the Soviet spies engaging with Billy subverting him to do some of their dirty work.”
Some even suggested that the potential new villains would fit in with the series’ tendency to reference popular ‘80s movies, with the new villains referencing the 1984 film Red Dawn. In the film, Soviet soldiers invade a small Colorado town, forcing a group of teenagers to fight back.
It’s not far-fetched to believe that Season 3 could see a number of Russian characters, as Russia has been brought up in the series from time to time. In Season 1, conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman frequently made reference to Russia, including Russian spies, and there was also a Russian agent seen throughout various episodes. It is also worthy to note that Project MKUltra was a covert operation conducted by the CIA to develop mind-control techniques to use against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, experiments that were continued on “011” by Dr. Brenner at Hawkins National Laboratory.
In past seasons, the main villains have largely been threats from the Upside Down, including the Demogorgon in Season 1, and the Mind Flayer, also dubbed the Shadow Monster, from Season 2, the latter of which is set to make a return in Stranger Things Season 3.0comments
Although it had appeared as though Eleven had defeated the tentacled creature by the end of the second season, the Mind Flayer reportedly “hasn't lost interest in Hawkins” and “continues to loom near Hawkins inside the Upside Down, and its malevolent influence isn't absent from the new season."
Stranger Things Season 3 is set for a 2019 release, with Seasons 1 and 2 currently available for streaming on Netflix.