‘Stranger Things’ Creators Head For Trial In Plagiarism Case Filed Against Them

Written by on April 18, 2019

Fourth Estate Staff

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – The creators of ‘Stranger Things’ are headed for trial after being accused of plagiarizing the show’s concept, sources confirm.

Matt and Ross Duffer are being accused of stealing the idea for the Netflix series from a guy named Charlie Kessler who allegedly pitch the concept first at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

A Los Angeles Superior Court denied summary judgment on Wednesday, thus the case will proceed to trial.

Kessler claimed that the plot for ‘Stranger Things’ is a rip off of his 2012 short film ‘The Montauk Project’, which he presented to the Duffer brothers at the said movie festival. He added that because the brothers liked the idea so much, they used it to create ‘Stranger Things’, changing the setting from Montauk to the fictional Hawkins, Indiana.

In their defense, the attorney for the Duffer brothers argued that the ‘Stranger Things’ creators and Kessler had a casual conversation at the film festival, during which the brothers asked what Kessler was working on and that the ideas the latter disclosed weren’t novel, The Hollywood Reporter wrote. This became the sole basis for the breach of an implied contract issue that Kessler is insisting.

The brothers further maintained that they created ‘Stranger Things’ independently and based on their own ideas.

In denying the summary judgment petitioned by the Duffer brothers, Los Angeles Superior Judge Michael Stern said the quality of novelty is not a requirement to pursue litigation.

Furthermore, the judge, citing Faris v. Enberg, held that no implied in fact contract can be instituted when the plaintiff voluntarily submitted his ideas for the purpose of established a potential business relationship.

The court ruled that there is need to gather more evidence to support the claims of both parties as their allegations lack verifying evidence as to the originality of their respective ideas.

According to Vanity Fair, Netflix has issued a statement showing their full support to the Duffer brothers.

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