According to a new report from Variety, Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of the Netflix original series Stranger Things, are being sued for plagiarism.
The lawsuit comes from a man named Charlie Kessler, who states that he created a short film back in 2012 called “Mantauk.” The film was supposed to be a teaser for a feature film titled The Montauk Project. Those who are familiar with the real-life Montauk Project — which are series of government projects that have been circulating since the 1980s — will recognize the name. The short film chronicles paranormal phenomena surrounding a government facility using the found footage format.
Normally, I’d say that’s no big deal, because lots of projects, I imagine, have that as something of a foundation. However, Kessler states that he pitched the idea to the Duffers back in 2014, and while the idea went nowhere, Stranger Things emerged just a couple short years later in 2016. Interestingly enough, the series is famously based on The Montauk Project and was even sold to Netflix under the title Montauk.
With all this evidence behind him, Kessler could very well have a case — especially if he can prove of meeting with the pair back in 2014. But, of course, there is also the question of whether or not that germ of an idea is enough to warrant plagiarism. Yes, it sounds like that basic idea was utilized, but the real difficulty in storytelling lies in execution. The characters in Stranger Things are fantastic, and the high level of storytelling isn’t necessarily something anyone outside of the writing staff can claim responsibility for.
What do you think? Does it sound like Kessler has a case? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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