It would appear the creative minds behind Stranger Things have become embroiled in a bit of controversy this week. Filmmaker Charlie Kessler has filed a lawsuit against Matt and Ross Duffer, the pair of brothers who created, wrote, and run the production of Netflix’s hit sci-fi series.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke news of the lawsuit on Tuesday. Kessler alleges that the two brothers stole the ideas behind Stranger Things from a pitch Kessler gave the Duffers at a party during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Kessler claims such story elements as a military base, a government conspiracy, portals into an alternate world, and children with special abilities came from his short film titled Montauk and a pitch for a script and feature film expanding upon the original short film titled The Montauk Project.
The filmmaker seeks lost profits as well as an order to stop the Duffer Brothers from using his concepts in the future.
The Duffers issued a response through their attorney later in the week denying all of Kessler’s claims. “Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless,” the statement read. “He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him. This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”
The lawsuit details some strong parallels between the two projects. However, it could be easily argued that such similarities are simply pulling from genre tropes of the sci-fi film. Some have also noted the interesting detail that while Stranger Things was under production, it went by the title of Montauk. It remains to be seen how Kessler’s lawsuit against the Duffer brothers will play out.
Stranger Things was renewed for a season 3 in December and is expected to return to Netflix some time in 2019.