‘Stranger Things’ Idea Might Have Been Ripped Off

The Duffer brothers, creators of “Stranger Things,” have been accused of stealing the idea for the show from a short film maker.

By nowproducerdave on April 4, 2018
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The idea for the Netflix show “Stranger Things” might have been ripped off, and we don’t mean it’s being re-made, we mean the show was stolen from someone else before making it to Netflix. Some documents were published, including a “casting call” asking for audition tapes for another show. That show was called “Montauk,” and was pitched to the Duffer brothers, the creators of “Stranger Things,” a couple years before it landed on Netflix.

See also: The cast of “Stranger Things” all got a huge raise for season 3.

The original show actually started as a short film, based on the same sorts of things being used in “Stranger Things.” Basically, it’s a film about a small town experiencing a lot of “paranormal activity” around a mystery government building. Anyway, that original short film was created by Charlie Kessler, who is suing the Duffer brothers for ripping off his idea. See, he met with the brothers back in 2014 and pitched them on his idea for turning his short film into a series. Fast forward a little more than a year later, and the Duffer brothers were working on a series for Netflix.

Anyway, the “casting call” I mentioned earlier was asking for potential actors to send a video audition. The one that leaked for the original show idea (after Netflix got ahold of the show) was for Barbara. It explained her character, and said it was for the new show “Montauk,” which means that Netflix did indeed use the original film’s name, pretty blatantly. Sketchy. Can’t wait to see how this unfolds, we’re curious. See more details on the original show and similarities here.

UPDATE: The Duffer brothers’ lawyer has responded to the claims, saying they’re “meritless.” Here’s a statement from the lawyer: “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. This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.” Also, they added that there was a book back in 1992, long before either party involved came up with the idea, called “The Montauk Project,” which was based on weird government experiments. Here’s a little more on all that new info.

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