"Many years ago I played Matthew Modine's wife," Amy Brenneman tweeted. "I am lucky enough to be doing it again. Beautiful man, and my kids think I'm a badass because of @Stranger_Things."
Next to her in the photo she shared, Modine looks very much like he's in character as Stranger Things' evil scientist Dr. Martin Brenner, a.k.a. Eleven's "Papa." So, it looks like The Leftovers alumna may be making her way into the Stranger Things universe, and maybe even showing another side of the guy who made a career of torturing little girls.
The fact that Modine's character is still alive isn't exactly news. While Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) adamantly believed that the demogorgon killed him, the scientist in that awful "The Lost Sister" episode said as much. Whether he was just saying so to get Eleven to spare his life could have remained ambiguous, but executive producer Shawn Levy confirmed it in an interview with Collider.
"But that feeling of the world getting a bit bigger, especially coupled with the fact that it now seems clear that Brenner is alive, Brenner is out there," Levy told the site, defending the controversial episode that takes place in Chicago. "I for one think that that one scene with Modine and Millie in Episode 7 is one of the juiciest scenes, and it kind of brought me back to how haunting Modine is in that Brenner role. So that’s a major unanswered question, and also we’ve now confirmed that Eleven isn’t the only one. There are other numbers."
Both of those revelations seem like a good setup for whatever monstrous disaster will happen to the Hawkins kids next. But still, was Brenneman supposed to reveal her new role to the world, when Netflix hasn't even announced that there definitely is a ST3? That kind of purposeful "leak" isn't unheard of.
"We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said at Vulture Fest, according to Deadline. Then, in deference to Netflix, as if there were any doubt of the popular show's return, he backpedaled. "That’s not official, that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement…for fun!"
As for Brenneman's reference to her previous collaboration with Modine, it brings up a cute bit of '90s trivia. That time she played his (ex)wife was in the 1995 movie Bye Bye, Love, in which Paul Reiser, a.k.a. Stranger Things' good doc Sam Owens, also starred as Modine's best friend and Brenneman's new love interest. Duffer Brothers, is there no end to your obscure references?