It's hard to imagine anyone playing Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers other than David Harbour and Winona Ryder. The two major adults of Netflix’s Stranger Things have become as iconic as the Hawkins kids.
But it turns out that neither Harbour nor Ryder was even a glimmer in the Duffer brothers’ eyes when the show was first being created.
The Independent reports that the Duffer Brothers recently released their early notes for the series, originally titled Montauk. In there, they break down every aspect of the show, from the set descriptions all the way to the characters’ sexualities.
In describing the roles of Hopper and Joyce, it’s reportedly written, “The limited nature of the project will allow us to target film actors for the adult leads. For example, Ewan McGregor, Sam Rockwell for Hopper [and] Naomi Watts or Marisa Tomei for Joyce.”
Because the show was originally supposed to be a one-and-done anthology story, in the same structure as series such as American Horror Story, the Duffers assumed they could and should approach film actors. However, because Netflix clearly saw the potential for a larger storyline, they decided to go for people who could make a longer commitment. And thank goodness they did!