“Stranger Things” Creators SUED For “Stealing” The Show's Plot From This Short Film

4 April 2018, 11:41

Stranger Things Sued
Picture: Netflix

By Katie Louise Smith

A film maker is suing the Duffer Brothers and accusing them of stealing his short film from 2012.

The creators of Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers, are reportedly being sued for allegedly stealing the hit show's concept from a short film from 2012.

Charlie Kessler, a film maker who directed "Montauk", a six-minute short film about an supernatural incident on a Long Island beach, has accused the brothers of stealing his idea and basing their entire show off of it. He alleges that he pitched his idea to Matt and Ross Duffer at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 who then used it as the basis for Stranger Things two years later.

Kessler's attorney says that the pitch his client made to the Duffers formed a verbal contract by the trio “based on industry expectations” which in turn created an “implied in-fact contact.”

"Montauk" was also the original name of Stranger Things, by the way, before they moved the location of the series to Hawkins, Indiana.


According to Variety, neither Kessler's project nor Stranger Things originated from an original idea. There's a book called “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time,” published in 1992, that tells the story of secret government experiments at Montauk’s Camp Hero - something which both projects took heavy inspiration from.

The Duffer Brothers - and members of the cast - have explained in previous interviews that the story of Stranger Things is based on stories about Camp Hero, and Project MKUltra, a CIA mind control programme.

Kessler is seeking monetary compensation and “destruction of all materials that were allegedly ripped off from his concept”, TMZ reports. And if his lawsuit is successful, the Duffer Brothers and Netflix will have to get rid of Stranger Things completely.