‘Stranger Things’ Creators Accused of Taking Idea for the Series From a Short Film

Jason McDonald

Man, the Hollywood machine is a fickle beast.  One minute you’re celebrating the announcement of a theme park attraction based on your show and the next you’re being accused of taking someone else’s idea for your show.

Matt and Ross Duffer are being accused of “lifting” their idea for “Stranger Things” from a 2012 short film titled “Montauk.”  These are similar accusations that Guillermo Del Toro recently faced regarding his film “The Shape of Water.” However, while Del Toro was able to resolve most of those concerns amicably, this situation may be a bit trickier for the Duffers.

Deadline got their hands on the court filing and the documents detail how Charlie Kessler, the director of “Montauk,” met with the Duffers at part during the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014.  During the party Kessler allegedly pitched the idea of “Montauk” to the Duffers and later shared with them “the script, story, and film” that he says were responsible for the creation of “Stranger Things.”

According to Deadline Kessler’s “Montauk”  . . .

involved a missing boy, a nearby military base conducting experiments on children and a monster from another dimension that looks like a toy.

So yeah, that sounds eerily similar to the story of “Stranger Things.”  However, Deadline points out that there’s another issue being mixed into this whole matter.  Both the short film “Montauk” and “Stranger Things” were created after a 1992 book called “The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time” which detail secret government experiments near the town of Montauk, Long Island. Is it possible both ideas sprung from the same source?  Hard to say at this point.

At this point we’ll have to see what happens next.  As Deadline points out Netflix is not named in the lawsuit, but they obviously have a deep interest in the results of this matter.  Stay tuned as we wait for further developments.

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