Stranger Things star David Harbour admitted he's surprised the Netflix series announced Linda Hamilton as its newest cast member amid the uncertainty stemming from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike.

While speaking with NME about where the fifth and final season of Stranger Things stands, Harbour addressed the inclusion of Hamilton, whose casting was confirmed in June at TUDUM. According to Harbour, the announcement was an eyebrow-raiser for him considering the ramifications of the writers' strike, including the halting of Season 5 production. "It surprised me when they announced that, because I know that this writers’ strike has not come to a deal yet. And I think they’re committed to not shooting until they do reach a deal," he said.

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Hamilton joined the Stranger Things cast in an undisclosed role just over a month after the WGA strike began on May 2, when the writers' union broke off contractual negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Days after the strike began, Season 5 production on Stranger Things halted indefinitely. With the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike going on simultaneously, when Season 5 can resume remains unknown. However, Harbour will be ready once the go-ahead is given, insisting "that sprint to the finish line, that is exciting and almost euphoric to me."

Fans of the Terminator film franchise will know Hamilton well as she starred as Sarah Connors throughout the series, including the 1984 original, Judgement Day and, most recently, Dark Fate. The award-winning actor has also been featured in notable TV shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Weeds and Claws. Hamilton's Season 5 casting came after co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer claimed last August no new characters would feature in Season 5.

The End of Stranger Things

Harbour will reprise his main role as Hawkins Police Department chief Jim Hopper alongside co-star Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), with the duo standing to make a hefty payday from the final Stranger Things season. Harbour has previously said Netflix made the right call to end Stranger Things with Season 5 as he believes it's time for the cast to move on and try new projects. Beyond Stranger Things, Harbour is due to feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe with his upcoming appearances in Thunderbolts and Creature Commandos, respectively.

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Season 5 of Stranger Things will look to build on the record-breaking momentum of Season 4, which was the most-watched English-language TV show in the streamer's history before Wednesday took the top spot. There is no release window announced yet for Season 5. However, all episodes to date of Stranger Things can be streamed via Netflix.

Source: NME