Man at His Best

'Stranger Things' Bosses Sued Over Accusations They Stole The Show's Plot

The Duffer Brothers are accused of ripping off short film 'Montauk'

BY Stephanie Chase | Apr 5, 2018 | Film & TV

photo: Jason LaVeris

Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of Netflix mega-hit Stranger Things, have been accused of plagiarising an indie filmmaker in a new lawsuit.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Duffers are being sued by Charlie Kessler, who directed the short film Montauk in 2012.

In the lawsuit, Kessler claims he pitched an idea for a series based on the film to the Duffers at a party during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and later "presented materials" from their representatives detailing the project.

The series Kessler claims he pitched was called The Montauk Project. A year later, the Duffers sold Stranger Things to Netflix under the title Montauk.

Kessler's idea for Montauk does share similarities with Stranger Things. It focuses on a boy who disappears and the cop who tries to find him. There's also a military base that's secretly conducting experiments on children.

But Kessler's Montauk was based on the Montauk Project, a conspiracy theory about secret government experiments carried out at Montauk Air Force Station, also known as Camp Hero.

The conspiracy theory is also said to be the inspiration behind Stranger Things, which was originally set in Montauk, Long Island before it changed its setting to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana.

Kessler is reportedly seeking both monetary damages and a jury trial. Netflix has declined to comment, and the Duffer Brothers have not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Stranger Things fans will soon be able to enter the Upside Down in real life.

Universal Studios has announced a Stranger Things attraction will be part of this year's Halloween Horror Nights event at its Hollywood, Orlando and Singapore resorts and promises to "bring the chittering, predatory Demogorgon to stalk unwitting guests as they encounter iconic scenes, characters, and environments from the mesmerising series".

That could be enough to tide fans over until 2019, when the third season will most likely arrive.

Source: Esquire UK


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