While Sean Astin’s character Bob Newby is set to be the boyfriend of Joyce Byers and father figure to the group of kids in the second season of Netflix’s smash hit series Stranger Things, he might just be the next breakout character to become a cultural sensation.
The first season saw Shannon Purser’s supporting character Barbara Holland who (spoiler alert) died in the beginning of the third episode managed to rise to tremendous popularity, spawning fan art, memes, and the #JusticeForBarb hashtag which became a force so strong that Netflix and the series creators could not ignore it, resulting in some form of justice for Barb since the character’s disappearance and death was not a major component of season one. While Barb’s popularity was extremely unexpected for the creators, executive producer Shawn Levy has a feeling fans are going to fall in love with Bob Newby the way they did Barb.
In an interview with Screen Rant at San Diego Comic-Con, Levy explained that The Duffer Brothers retooled some of Bob’s character to allow Astin to shine and he expects Bob to become the new fan favorite as the result:
“Yes. It’s Sean Astin. Yeah. Sean Astin as Bob is going to be, I’m saying it, but he’s kind of 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 Duffers 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 this season again and they did it big time with Sean Astin who as Bob I think is going to be a Barb level fan favorite.”
But Levy assured the intention is not to actually create a new Barb when he was asked about the comparison between the characters:
“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.”
Stranger Things 2 stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Noah Schnapp. In addition to Astin, the series has also added Paul Reiser (Aliens), Brett Gelman (Jobs), Dacre Montgomery (Power Rangers), Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen, and Broadway star Sadie Sink into the mix as well. Here’s the official synopsis:
It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.
Stranger Things 2 hits Netflix October 27, 2017.
Source: Screen Rant