‘Stranger Things’ Bosses Slam ‘Meritless’ Plagiarism Lawsuit
Don’t think a Stranger Things lawsuit will turn the Duffer brothers upside down. The pair have responded to allegations the breakout Netflix drama was cribbed from a Montauk short, calling the lawsuit “completely meritless.”
It started earlier this week with claims from filmmaker Charlie Kessler that he’d pitched the Duffers on an extension of his award-winning Montauk short, which features such similar elements as a missing child, government experimentation and monsters from another dimension. Stranger Things was itself originally pitched and set in Montauk, though both concepts are said to derive from real-life government conspiracies around Montauk, New York. Duffer brothers attorney Alex Kohner has now responded to Kessler’s claims:
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.
For what it’s worth, TMZ presented a 2015 casting call that refers to Stranger Things as “Montauk,” though it was widely-known the Duffers changed their original title. The pair also previously mentioned wanting to emulate the “coastal setting” of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and its fictional Amity, but found shooting in Long Island during winter too costly. The series has nonetheless used Jaws as an inspiration in several regards.
It remains to be seen whether the Stranger Things lawsuit will gain traction, or influence Season 3 production. Stay tuned for the latest either way.
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