Charlie Kessler filed a lawsuit against the ‘Stranger Things’ creators for ripping off the show’s concept from his short film ‘Montauk‘ that was originally released in 2012. As stated by Kessler, he shared the concept with the brothers as a “full-blown” series. But he had not heard from them since. The idea was pitched in 2014.
During the Stranger Things debut in 2016, Kessler was in shock; he claimed that his ideas, story, and script were all used by the brothers.
However, the Duffer brothers, Matt and Ross, might actually have proof that nothing was plagiarized, and no ideas were stolen whatsoever. “These documents prove that Mr. Kessler had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of ‘Stranger Things.’ The Duffer Brothers were developing their project years before he claims to have met them,” the lawyer of the creators told TMZ.
A pair of emails dated November 2010 shows the two discussing their ideas for a series they described as ‘paranormal’ and ‘real’—hinted with eighties feels here and there. As a reference to the Montauk experiments, the second email then states that the setting of the series was in the town of ‘Montauk’.
The lawsuit from the ‘Montauk’ director states that he is seeking “destruction of all materials that were allegedly ripped off from his concept.”
However, the allegations were denied by the brothers’ lawyer.
“Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless,” attorney Alex Kohner told Deadline. “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.“