Matt and Ross Duffer, creators of Netflix supernatural series sensation “Stranger Things,” are reportedly being sued for allegedly stealing the idea.
THR reports that Charlie Kessler is suing the Duffer brothers for breach of implied contract, claiming he pitched them his concept for a sci-fi story set near an abandoned military base during a party at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Kessler adds the series is based on his short film “Montauk” and a feature film script titled “The Montauk Project” about the New York State town which in these works is home to “various urban legends, and paranormal and conspiracy theories.”
Kessler’s attorney argues the pitch at a party created “an implied-in-fact contract pursuant to well-established industry norms” – in other words a verbal contract. Kessler is seeking an injunction ordering the Duffers to stop using his concepts and to destroy all materials based on those concepts, as well as restitution, lost profits and punitive damages.
An attorney for the Duffer Brothers has responded to the lawsuit, telling Deadline that the claim is “completely meritless”. The attorney goes on to say: “He [Kessler] 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 suit comes as renegotiations are underway with the show’s young cast members whom will each reportedly score pay raises to around twelve times that of their previous salaries.