The Netflix original young adult series Outer Banks is in some potentially deep water. A lawsuit was filed by a high school English instructor and creative writing teacher in North Carolina, citing alleged copyright infringement, as reported by Deadline.
The lawsuit has been made against the series creators, brothers Jonas Pate (Aquarius) and Joshua Pate (Mirror Mirror). The North Carolina teacher who filed the lawsuit, Kevin Wooten, claims that the Pates allegedly stole the idea for the show from his 2016 young adult novel Pennywise: The Hunt For Blackbeard’s Treasure! Some of the alleged similarities between Wooten’s novel and the popular Netflix series include them both taking place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Outer Banks is a modern-day take on The Goonies, and along with Pennywise, they both detail teens going on a hunt for buried treasure. The series depicts how the four rebellious misfits stumble upon a map that leads them on a treasure hunt to a potential fortune during their summer break.
Deadline states that the Wooten lawsuit is seeking: “statutory damages, punitive actions, royalties and a credit line in the series.” Wooten claims that the Outer Banks creators allegedly copied the location, setting, and plot of his book, in addition to stating that his book allegedly sold several copies in Wilmington, which is where one of the Pate brothers lives. Another similarity Wooten’s lawsuit alleges is that the novel and series antagonists allegedly both feature “a rich benefactor and a corrupt member of law enforcement,” as reported by Variety.
Outer Banks stars Chance Stokes (Tell Me Your Secrets), Madison Bailey (Council of Dads), Jonathan Daviss (Shattered Memories), and Rudy Pankow (Solved) as the four vigilante teens who go on the wild and dangerous hunt to find the buried treasure. It also features Madelyne Clyne (Boy Erased) and Charles Esten (Nashville) as the villainous rich father.
The first season of Outer Banks debuted on Netflix on April 15, 2020. As the country was on lockdown due to COVID-19, the series became a hit and was consistently featured in the streamer’s top ten most-watched programs. The first season contains ten hour-long episodes. Already renewed for a second season, it began shooting the next batch of episodes this past September.
Executive produced by the Pate brothers along with Shannon Burke (Black Flies), they all also served as screenwriters throughout the first season. Netflix has not yet commented on the lawsuit made by Wooten.