David Harbour Teases Vecna, 'Stranger Things' ' First 'Psychological Horror' Villain: 'A True Big Bad'

Stranger Things returns to Netflix for a highly-anticipated fourth season on May 27

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 18: Actor David Harbour attends the "No Sudden Move" premiere during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at The Battery on June 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage,)
Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage

There's a new villain haunting Hawkins, Indiana in Stranger Things season 4 — and according to David Harbour, it's badder than ever.

At the premiere of the Netflix series' highly-anticipated fourth season, the 47-year-old actor revealed that the new batch of episodes will introduce a new "psychological horror" creature named Vecna.

Harbour, who plays the wily Detective Jim Hopper on the series, teased to Variety that Vecna is "the true big bad we've really needed."

"The Upside Down has been this wild west world where there are creatures running around," Harbour told the outlet. "There's violence, but we've never seen something as calculatedly psychologically evil as this."

STRANGER THINGS. Vecna Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Fans have already been introduced to a host of evils from the ever-present Upside Down, including the Demogorgon, a humanoid creature with a gnashing mouth that rivals Alien's iconic monster.

Stranger Things' executive producer and director, Shawn Levy, raised the stakes for Vecna even higher, telling Variety the new villain "makes a Demogorgon look cuddly."

Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson, also told the outlet that Vecna's arrival will change everything for the Hawkins gang.

"The craziest thing is just how new and fresh the villain feels compared to what we've had before," Matarazzo explained. "It's something that brings a whole new vibe to how we deal with our villains in 'Stranger Things' and how we will continue to do so going forward."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

According to Variety, Vecna was created primarily using practical effects — a feat actor Joe Keery called "unparalleled."

"There aren't other people that are doing similar things to this, so as the fan in me, I was just freaking out," Keery said.

Though Harbour said his character "doesn't directly deal" with Vecna this season, he revealed Hopper will have to fight off a "pretty terrifying" Demogorgon in the Russian prison, where he'd landed at the end of season 3.

STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Sadie Sink, who plays Max Mayfield, previously hinted to PEOPLE that a new "really scary" foe was set to join the cast, in what the 20-year-old actress called the "most bizarre season" ever.

"Just the scale of it is out of this world," Sink revealed. "We get to explore a lot of different themes and different sides of the characters that everyone knows and loves, so I'm looking forward to it."

Part one of Stranger Things season 4 will premiere May 27 on Netflix, with the second part expected to drop on July 1.

Related Articles