Lawsuit Filed Against the Duffer Brothers for 'Stranger Things' Concept

Today (April 4), the siblings spoke out about the lawsuit with a statement issued by their attorney Alex Kohner.

Kessler claims that he presented his idea to the brothers at a 2014 Tribeca Film Festival party, and that it was based on his short film Montauk, which debuted at the Hamptons Film Festival in 2012. "This is just an attempt to profit from other people's creativity and hard work".

Both Kessler's short and Stranger Things appear to draw inspiration from a conspiracy theory about The Montauk Project, an alleged secret US government program that purportedly conducted experiments on children at a Long Island, N.Y., military base in the 1970s and early 1980s.

An LA-based writer and producer has claimed that Netflix's hit show Stranger Things was based on an idea he came up with. This news comes soon after the pay raise the cast received ahead of the show's third season, which begins production this month. Kessler, who claims his idea and script were fully stolen for the show, is suing for breach of contract and is seeking money and the cancelation of the series.

However, either story can not claim complete creative ownership of the story.

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Kessler said he registered a script for "The Montauk Project" with the U.S. Copyright Office on February 18, 2013.

Kessler asked for an injunction ordering the Duffer brothers to stop using and destroy all materials related to his concepts.

According to a 2015 Deadline report, when Netflix green-lighted Stranger Things to series, the project was titled Montauk. Essentially, the concept of the story - a missing boy, mysterious supernatural forces, government experiments, an unusual girl and even the 80s theme - stayed pretty much the same, but in the end they moved the setting from Montauk, Long Island to Indiana.

An independently made documentary called the Montauk Chronicles was produced in 2014, and alleged that the base was used for secret government experiments, involving time travel, mind control and contacting extra-terrestrials. At the moment, Netflix didn't comment on this weird situation, nor have the representatives for the Duffer brothers.

  • Adam Floyd