Production company Irish Rover Entertainment is suing Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer and Netflix, according to Yahoo Entertainment. According to the lawsuit, the creators and streaming service allegedly stole the show’s premise from an unpublished screenplay of the TV series project Totem.
The screenplay for Totem is written by Jeffrey Kennedy who created everything from the plotline to the characters to the concept art. The lawsuit states that both shows are linked to Aaron Sims who aided Kennedy in developing his TV series project, and later provided concept art for Stranger Things. Kennedy says that the death of his childhood friend Clint Osthimer, who suffered from epilepsy, inspired the idea for Totem.
Digital Spy cites lines from the lawsuit: “During their childhood together in rural Indiana, Osthimer and Kennedy dealt with the constant threat of Osthimer’s ‘personal demon’, epilepsy, which created ‘lightning showers’ in his brain. These lightning showers or seizures would send him to an alternate supernatural plane where the demon resided.”
The lawsuit cited by Digital Spy goes on to compare the two shows. “In Totem, one of the characters is a little girl named Kimimela or “Kimi” for short who has supernatural powers. Kimimela helps her friends find the portal gate to an alternate supernatural plane and helps them battle the plane’s inhabitants; a dark spirit named Azrael and his army of Blackwolf. In Stranger Things, one of the characters is a little girl name Eleven or “El” for short who has supernatural powers. Eleven helps her friends find the portal gate to an alternate supernatural plane and helps them battle the plane’s inhabitants; a Shadow Monster and his army of Demogorgon.”
A representative for Netflix quickly dismissed these claims in a statement to TheWrap: “Mr. Kennedy has been peddling these far-fetched conspiracy theories for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them. After we refused to give in to his demands for a payoff, he filed this baseless lawsuit. There is no shortage of people who would like to claim credit for creating ‘Stranger Things.’ But the truth is the show was independently conceived by The Duffer Brothers, and is the result of their creativity and hard work.”
Although, this isn’t the first time the Duffer brothers are being sued over Stranger Things. A similar lawsuit emerged in 2018 when Charles Kessler said that he devised the idea for Stranger Things. He allegedly pitched the idea to the Duffer brothers at a 2014 Tribeca Film Festival party. This lawsuit was eventually dropped by Kessler before it went to trial.
Stranger Things does not have an official release date for its upcoming season, but released a trailer for its fourth season in February. In early March, the cast also got together for a season four table read, but that is the last fans have heard from the team. Check out the trailer for Stranger Things’s fourth season below: