Filmmaker alleges Stranger Things creators stole show’s concept from him

Charlie Kessler says the plot of the Netflix show came from his short Montauk.

April 04, 2018
Filmmaker alleges <i>Stranger Things</i> creators stole show’s concept from him Ross Duffer (L) and Matt Duffer attend the premiere of Stranger Things Season 2 at Regency Bruin Theatre on October 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.   Frazer Harrison/Getty

Matt and Ross Duffer, the brothers behind Netflix's Stranger Things, are being sued by a filmmaker who claims they stole the hit show's central plot from him. According to TMZ, Charlie Kessler alleges that he pitched a TV series of his short movie Montauk to the Duffer Brothers in 2014, two years prior to the debut of Stranger Things.

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Kessler says he made his six-minute short film in 2012 as a teaser for a feature film to be called The Montauk Project. According to Variety, the short uses found footage to tell a story about paranormal phenomena in the vicinity of a government facility.

Stranger Things tells the story of small town disrupted by supernatural phenomena linked to a government lab. The show was originally announced by Netflix in April 2015 under the title Montauk.

Kessler is reportedly seeking compensation and “destruction of all materials that were allegedly ripped off from his concept.”

The FADER has contacted Netflix for comment.

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Filmmaker alleges Stranger Things creators stole show’s concept from him