On Wednesday, Stranger Things co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer responded to a filmmaker’s lawsuit claiming that they stole the idea for the hit Netflix show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Duffer brothers’ attorney, Alex Kohner said in a statement, “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.”
The aforementioned “Mr. Kessler” is Charlie Kessler, a filmmaker who claims he pitched the original concept for what became Stranger Things to Matt and Ross Duffer at a party at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. He is suing the pair for “breach of implied contract” which, per Kessler’s attorney, Michael Kernan, is based on the legal argument “that the 2014 party pitch created an implied-in-fact contract pursuant to well-established industry norms.” In addition, Kessler insists Stranger Things is based on his short film The Montauk Project, which features similar “various urban legends, and paranormal and conspiracy theories.”
“After the massive success of Stranger Things,” Kernan wrote in a court filing made public earlier this week, “Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff’s Concepts.” As a result, Kessler is seeking an injunction against the Duffer brothers and Netflix that will require both to “stop using his concepts and to destroy all materials based on those concepts, as well as restitution, lost profits and punitive damages.” However, whether or not any of this will actually happen — let alone whether Kessler’s claims are even valid — remains to be seen.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)