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Michael Tran
Duffer Brothers

Stranger Things creators respond to filmmaker's plagiarism claims

Director Charlie Kessler is seeking monetary damages and a jury trial.

THE CREATORS OF, the Netflix mega-hit, Stranger Things are entering the upside down world of litigation after being hit with a lawsuit by a director who claims they stole ideas from his 2012 short film Montauk.

Director Charlie Kessler alleges that Matt and Ross Duffer lifted ideas about top-secret government experiments from his film after he presented them with the “script, ideas, story and film” in April 2014.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, Stranger Things was originally called The Montauk Project and it was set in the Long Island town.

Shutterstock / Tinseltown Shutterstock / Tinseltown / Tinseltown

The suit claims that Stranger Things has many elements that are also present in the 2012 film, including children with enhanced abilities, secret government projects and a monster from another dimension.

Both the show and the film are inspired by the conspiracy theory that the US government conducted secret experiments on humans at Montauk Air Force Station.

“After the massive success of Stranger Things that is based on Plaintiff’s concepts that Plaintiffs discussed with Defendants, Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff’s concepts without compensating or crediting Plaintiff for his Concepts,” the suit says.

Kessler, who has worked on a number of Netflix shows including Daredevil and Luke Cage, is suing for breach of implied contract and is seeking monetary damages and a jury trial.

The Duffer brother’s attorney, Alex Kohner, issued a statement dismissing the lawsuit as an “attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Mr Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. 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.

Production on the third season of Stranger Things is expected to begin this month.

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