Many fans were sad to see Barb bite the dust in the first season of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, while a great many more were upset that the writers never actually created much closure for her sudden and offscreen death. While we won’t be seeing her return in the upcoming second season, we may be getting a character similar in design.
During this past San Diego Comic-Con, the show’s producer and director, Shawn Levy, was asked if there are any new characters that would win our hearts like Barb did. He responded with:
“Yes. It’s Sean Astin. Sean Astin as Bob is….going to be the Barb of Season 2. His part is substantially bigger. He’s in a lot of episodes. He is magnificent. And one thing the [writers] do really well is when they see what an actor is capable of, they write to that. They don’t make the actor play what’s on the page. They often change what’s on the page to exploit everything that’s unique about that actor. They did it with Steve Harrington last season….and they did it big time with Sean Astin who as Bob I think is going to be a Barb-level fan favorite.”
The casting of Sean Astin was music to fans’ ears, as the show continues in the tradition of casting actors who were stars in the ‘80s in order to further provide that sense of nostalgia. When asked about the comparison between the two characters, the show’s writers clarified:
“It’s hard to know. I mean, we weren’t expecting the Barb phenomenon. But I will say he has more lines than Barb. And Sean Astin is, he’s one of those guys that he wasn’t initially how we were envisioning the role but, once he came on board and once we started seeing what he was doing with his character, he just changed the entire trajectory, really of some of the plot of the show and certainly of that character.
“He’s an incredibly likable guy in real life and then also hopefully in the show. I love Bob. I think other people will too. But Barb may have been lightning in the bottle. I don’t know. We are not with any character trying to create a new Barb. It’s a fruitless exercise.”
With the premiere of the next season mere months away, more information about the character and the new season will likely emerge within the next few weeks. Though fans will likely have to wait until Halloween (appropriate) for the actual release.