Stranger Things plagiarism case will likely go trial in May

Stranger Things 2 - Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix
Stranger Things 2 - Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix /

Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers were denied summary judgment in an idea theft suit. The suit claims they stole the idea for the popular Netflix series.

The Duffer Brothers, creators of Stranger Things, will likely stand trial over the plagiarism suit beginning on May 6, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.

THR is reporting a Los Angeles Superior Court denied “summary judgment” to Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of Stranger Things, in a suit that claims they stole that idea that became the show Stranger Things. 

Back in 2018, Charlie Kessler sued the Duffer Brothers for allegedly stealing his idea that became the hit Netflix original series Stranger Things. Kessler directed a short film about Montauk, and in his story, there were some elements of a missing child, a lab that experiments on kids and a monster, according to the report. It’s not the most unique story, considering there was folklore and urban legends about Montauk and child experiments dating back decades.

Stranger Things was originally titled Montauk before the show’s setting changed.

In the suit, Kessler, then, claims he pitched his idea to the Duffer brothers at a party and the trio decided to work together on the project. It’s unclear what happened after that, but it also sounds like Kessler claims he sent scripts or story information to the Duffer brothers.

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According to the report, the Duffer brothers presented evidence they thought would be enough for the court to, basically, acknowledge that they had proof that they created the show independent of this interaction from Kessler. The judge did not agree.

Since the suit was filed, the Duffer brothers and Netflix vehemently dismissed it as a money grab for Kessler. There have been several reports that claimed the Duffer brothers had email correspondence and documents about the show that they started working on in 2010.

Of course, we don’t get to see the evidence, so it’s difficult to form any opinion. The Duffer brothers did not have enough proof to convince this judge. That doesn’t mean that they did steal the idea, and it doesn’t mean they didn’t, either.  Now it will be up to a jury to decide if they did, in fact, steal this idea.

For Netflix and the Duffer brothers, a settlement might be the best thing at this point. They’ve already filed to stop any information from public release, according to the report, so the future of Stranger Things is not ruined. I don’t know what Kessler is asking for, but it might be worth it to pay him, sign an NDA, and move on with this series. Obviously, that doesn’t look good for them publicly, but it’s better than all this drama surrounding the series.

I don’t know much they’d have to settle for, but I’m guessing it’d be quite the check. According to the report, Kessler wants a third of what the Duffer brothers have made from the show, and I’m guessing that’s not all he’d want.

If this doesn’t go Netflix and Stranger Things’ way, will this be the end of the series? I don’t think so, and the report doesn’t mention that the show is in jeopardy. This is just all a bad look for Netflix and Stranger Things, and I hope it gets sorted soon.

Stranger Things 3 premieres on July 4, 2019.

Next. Stranger Things 3: Every spoiler we know so far. dark