‘Stranger Things’ Creators: Plagiarism Claim ‘Completely Meritless’

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

An attorney for “Stranger Things” creators Ross Duffer and Matt Duffer dismissed a claim that they plagiarized the show’s concept as “completely meritless,” Deadline reports.

Filmmaker Charlie Kessler alleged a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the Duffer brothers took an idea he pitched to them in April 2014 to create the breakout Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

“Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless,” Alex Kohner explained. “He had no connection to the creation or development of ‘Stranger Things.'”

The cast of Stranger Things accepts their award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The cast of Stranger Things accepts their award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

“The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him,” he added. “This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Kessler said the pair also used the title “The Montauk Project” in the early stages of developing the series. Deadline reported in 2015 that when the Duffer brothers signed with Netflix, it was called “Montauk.”

“Described as a love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation, the series is set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl,” the logline for the project read.

Kessler’s “Montauk” involved a boy who went missing, a military base that experimented on children and a monster from another dimension that looked like a toy.

But both Kessler’s Montauk and “Stranger Things” were created after the book called “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time” in 1992. The book focused on a handful of wild conspiracy theories about the government conducting secret experiments at a camp in Montauk, Long Island.

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