“Stranger Things” showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have been sued for allegedly ripping off the idea of a short film to create their hit Netflix show. Charlie Kessler claims that the show is based on his short film “Montauk” and a feature film script titled “The Montauk Project”. Both the short film and script revolve around a government facility and the paranormal happenings taking place in its surrounding areas.
Kessler said he pitched the idea for the film to Matt and Ross Duffer, also known as The Duffer Brothers, when he met them at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He said the talks were not able to materialise, but the Duffer brothers used the idea and turned it into “Stranger Things”, which debuted in 2016 on the streaming site Netflix.
Incidentally, when Netflix had given a green light to the project back in April 2015, it was called “Montauk”. It was originally set in Montauk, Long Island, but the show changed its setting to Indiana.
The short film, which was available on Vimeo but has since been taken down, shares many similarities with the “Stranger Things”, such as the disappearance of a young boy, a cop with a haunted past, and a mysterious conspiracy at a nearby military base. Kessler is demanding both monetary compensation as well as a trial by jury. Neither The Duffer Brothers nor the streaming giant has responded to lawsuit as of yet