Stranger Things — Netflix’s nostalgia-fueled 80s sci-fi drama — is arguably the streaming service’s most iconic and popular program. And while Netflix doesn’t typically disclose which of its programs attract the most viewers, the company earlier this year did reveal that the show remains one of the site’s most binged programs.
One of the more intriguing and impressive things about Stranger Things is that the show seemingly came out of nowhere. Created and developed by Matt and Ross Duffer, the Duffer brothers weren’t exactly household names when the show first launched in July of 2016. Indeed, the notion that two brothers — without many credits to their name — managed to come up with a breakthrough series all on their own quickly became part of the show’s lore.
That said, a new lawsuit from Charlie Kessler accuses the Duffer brothers of stealing the concept of Stranger Things from Montauk, a short film he allegedly pitched the brothers at a 2014 party.
“Montauk,” which won an award at the Hamptons Film Festival in 2012, was a found-footage sci-fi short that told the story of a violent event that took place in the Long Island community. The premise dealt with conspiracy theories, secret government projects and the paranormal, as described in the lawsuit. A cop haunted by his past was among the key characters.
Predictably, the Duffer brothers’ attorney — Alex Kohner — was quick to categorize the lawsuit as baseless and nothing more than a blatant money-grab. What’s more, Kohner said that “the Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him.”
Kessler’s complaint can be read in its entirety over here.