The creators of the extremely popular Netflix sci-fi series, Stranger Things, are facing a lawsuit by a Hollywood director who claims they stole the idea for the show.
Filmmaker Charlie Kessler created a short movie in 2011 called “Montauk”, which won an award at the Hamptons Film Festival. The film’s plot focuses on a secret government conspiracy in upstate New York, where a child mysteriously goes missing. Sound familiar at all?
Chris claims that he presented the idea to brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, the pair behind Stranger Things, years before the show was produced.
It was allegedly during the party of the Tribeca Film Festival where the idea was first pitched to the duo. Chris states in the lawsuit that the original idea for the show was for it to be named “The Montauk Project”, but was dismissed and never followed through with.
He also states that he first found out about the series in 2015, Netflix announced it under its original title. The original description read: “In the series, set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, a young boy vanishes into thin air.”
“As friends, family, and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.”
“Montauk is a love letter to the 80s classics that captivated a generation.”
However, the series changed its shooting set to Georgia, as well as creating a fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana before changing its name to the well-known title we know today: Stranger Things.
Both Chris Kessler and the Duffer brothers admit to have based their stories on conspiracies around Camp Hero in Montauk (hence the title), which has been discussed online for many years. The camp was also featured in the 1992 book, ‘The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time.’
Also in the lawsuit, Chris states that he wants “money and destruction” of all the materials that were allegedly ripped off from his concept. The Duffer Brothers and Netflix have not yet commented on this lawsuit, but a third season to the popular show is already under production, and those starring in it are reportedly already receiving large pay rises.
We’ve not seen the original Montauk film, but the original Netflix description logline of it shows major similarities to the original concept of Stranger Things. Could it just all be a coincidence, or could the Duffer Bros. be in for somer big trouble?
<Story by Emily Clark>
Featured Photo Credit: Comic Book