“Stranger Things” Creators Being Sued For Plagiarism

April 23, 2019

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

As Matt and Ross Duffer, the creator of Netflix’s “Stranger Things“, gear up for the third season they are headed to court. They have been accused of stealing the plot of the hit series.


While they have tried to get the plagiarism lawsuit thrown out, their attempts have been unsuccessful. Now they will go before an LA judge to defend themselves. Director Charlie Kessler is suing the duo for allegedly stealing the idea for the show from his found footage short film Montauk. Kessler also alleges that he pitched a series based on the short to the Duffer brothers during a party in 2014 during the Tribeca Film Festival, but they reportedly didn’t have any interest. Kessler even expressed plans to adapt his short for a feature film during an interview with /Film back in 2010. In April 2015 Netflix announced the series now named “Stranger Things” under the original title Montauk.


The plot for Kessler’s film is as follows:

“In the series, set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family, and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary, terrifying supernatural force, and one very strange little girl.”


Does that sound familiar? “Stranger Things” later relocated to Hawkins, Indiana, a fictional town. Kessler’s attorney states that the pitch by his client to the Duffer brothers formed a “verbal contract based on industry expectations” which formed an “implied-in-fact contract”.


So what happens if Kessler wins the lawsuit? The Duffer brothers and Netflix will likely be forced to either offer a huge settlement or be made to destroy all materials based on the reportedly plagiarized story. In other words, they may have to wipe “Stranger Things” out completely, according to Independent.com.

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