Yesterday, we reported that Charlie Kessler is suing the creators the Netflix hit series Stranger Things. Kessler claims the Duffer brothers stole his idea after he allegedly met with them in 2014 to pitch a short film entitled The Montauk Project. The film centered around government experimentation, much like Stanger Things. Creators are sued every day by someone who thinks their ideas were stolen, so at first, the lawsuit seemed like another day in Hollywood. Now, it appears that the Duffer brothers stole the name “Montauk,” and used it as the name for their series before changing it to Stranger Things.
TMZ obtained a copy a casting call for the Netflix series, which clearly labels the show title as Montauk. “You have a self tape request for the Netflix series ‘Montauk’ starring Winona Ryder,” reads the casting call. It goes on to describe the role “Barbara,” who is played by Shannon Purser on the series. The casting call was sent out in August 2015, a little over a year after Kessler pitched the idea to the Duffer brothers. Netflix also announced that they were purchasing the series under the name “Montauk” in 2015.
What looked like another money grab has matured into substantiated claims. Kessler, who claims his idea and script were fully stolen for the show, is suing for breach contract and is seeking money and the cancelation the series. According to CNN, The Montauk Project was available on Vimeo before it was removed from public viewing on Tuesday (April 3).