The accusations filmmaker Charlie Kessler laid down last year that The Duffer Brothers, creators of the wildly successful Netflix series Stranger Things, have stolen his original idea will have to be settled in court.
Before Easter Holidays, a judge from a Los Angeles Superior Court denied a summary dismissal of the case in favor of the Duffer Brothers and has set the court date for May 6, 2019.
As Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Kessler alleges Stranger Things is based on a feature film script titled The Montauk Project — set in the New York town in which he says is home to ‘various urban legends, and paranormal and conspiracy theories.'”
In his claim, Kessler said that he pitched the idea to the Duffer Brothers at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 under the Montauk Project moniker, as he made a short feature film under the same name and with the same theme in 2011.
For their part, the Duffer Brothers deny that Kessler had any connection with the creation and development of Stranger Things, and that they have been developing their idea since 2010. These arguments didn’t fly with the judge as he thought that, “they lack verifying evidence of the originality of their idea.”
Engadget adds that the working title for Stranger Things was The Montauk Project, which certainly is not a helpful argument for the Duffer brothers. Exclaim.com reports that for its part, Netflix came in with full support for the Duffer Brothers, stating that, “this case has no merit, which we look forward to being confirmed by a full hearing of the facts in court.”
It is also interesting to note that Kessler’s original short film The Montauk Project, which was once available for public viewing, has suddenly become available for private viewing only.