Stranger Things 4: First trailer unveiled – and it's from Russia with love

It's confirmed, Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper is still alive

If the heart wasn't going into overdrive already on Valentine's Day for fans of Stranger Things, it certainly was once they learnt of the new trailer for season 4 of the smash-hit Netflix show.

The teaser for the highly-anticipated next instalment was released on social media on Friday with the message "From Russia with love ...".

The biggest take out from it is that Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper is very much alive, although did anyone seriously think we wouldn't see him again?

Turning back to the end of season 3, the post-credits cliff-hangar showed Russian guards in a secret research facility in Kamchatka about to feed someone to a captive demogorgon.

They then decided to "leave the American". Hopper had earlier been seemingly obliterated by a Russian laser.

And, thanks to the new clip, we have confirmation that Hopper is still with us, and he certainly isn't back in Hawkins as he can be seen hammering away at a snowy train line with what appears to be a group of prisoners.

Initial questions include: how is he still alive after the lasering? Why did they "leave the American", and will the Hawkins crew of actors Noah Schnapp (Will), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Sadie Sink (Max), and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) be heading to Russia to save him?

“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on ‘Stranger Things 4’ is now underway — and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!” the show's creators the Duffer Brothers said in a statement.

“Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human … and other.”

They then add: “Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything. Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime, pray for the American.”

While there is no indication of when the new series will air, Netflix has historically dropped the new episodes around public holidays, it was Halloween for season 2 and American Independence Day on July 4 for season 3.