According to the Hollywood Reporter, the creators of Stranger Things are headed to trial for allegedly stealing the main storyline from a producer/writer/director named Charlie Kessler.
As the story goes: Kessler claims he bumped into the show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer while at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, where he allegedly shopped the idea of a story purporting “various urban legends and paranormal and conspiracy theories” similar in vein to Stranger Things.
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Some years later, Kessler believes that his one-time meeting with the Duffers may have inspired them to create Stranger Things. Kessler would later convert his idea into writing without the backing of the Duffers, culminating in the creation of an original film script titled The Montauk Project. He also claims to have brokered an unspoken arrangement with the Duffers to one day work on said project. Kessler’s attorney grouped together a loose narrative of what went down.
“Charlie Kessler asserts that he met the Duffers, then two young filmmakers whom Kessler never had heard of, and chatted with them for ten to fifteen minutes,” wrote the defendants’ attorney. “That casual conversation — during which the Duffers supposedly said that they all ‘should work together’ and asked ‘what [Kessler] was working on’ — is the sole basis for the alleged implied contract at issue in this lawsuit and for Kessler’s meritless theory that the Duffers used his ideas to create Stranger Things.”
Los Angeles Superior Judge Michael Stern denied the defendants a summary judgment, meaning Kessler will present his case with the Duffers on the defensive. Both sides will report to the courthouse beginning on May 6. Regardless of the outcome, Stranger Things will return to Netflix as of July 4, 2019.