The Duffer brothers, Matt and Ross, have issued a response to the charges of plagiarism made against them this week with regard to how they came up with the concept for the Netflix megahit Stranger Things. But is there more to this story? Enquiring minds want to know.
Filmmaker Charlie Kessler has filed a lawsuit against the brothers claiming they ripped the idea for Stranger Things from a short film he produced called Montauk.
The 2012 film’s storyline involves a missing boy, a nearby military base conducting experiments on children, and a monster from another dimension. Sound familiar?
Deadline also reported back in 2015 when Netflix gave green light to Stranger Things the show was actually titled Montauk. Fishy…
Kessler claims he pitched the Montauk concept to Matt and Ross Duffer in April 2014 at a Tribeca Film Festival party and later presented “the script, ideas, story and film” to the duo that they allegedly used to develop their hit series.
However, there might be a fly in the ointment when it comes to Kessler’s lawsuit. Deadline notes that both Kessler’s Montauk and the Duffer brothers’ Stranger Things were filmed after a 1992 book called The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time by by Peter Moon and Preston B. Nichols about secret government experiments.
So did everyone just rip off the book? Hard to say, but the Duffer brothers seem pretty adamant that they certainly didn’t get the idea for Stranger Things from Kessler. Or at least their attorney is.
“Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless,” said Alex Kohner, attorney for the Duffers. “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.”
For what it’s worth TMZ has proof of a casting call that looks like a bit of a smoking gun, and a 2012 interview Kessler gave with with SlashFilm also back him up with regard to the timeline he has stated in the lawsuit.
Sounds to me like someone needs to get Chief Hopper on the case.
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