Stranger Things Show-Runners Sued for Alleged Plagiarism

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Charlie Kessler claims that the show is based on his short film Montauk and a feature film script titled The Montauk Project.

But did the Duffer Brothers use Kessler's concepts or just build off the idea of using the existing Montauk conspiracies as a story? He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things.

The lawsuit filed by Kessler states that he is looking for monetary damages due to a breach of implied contract, according to Deadline. The series' setting was eventually swapped to the fictional Hawkins, Indiana (and the show and episode names were obviously changed as well), but the Duffers have been open about the fact that they were inspired by the oddities of the NY town.

Kessler's attorney says that the pitch his client made to the Duffers formed a verbal contract by the trio "based on industry expectations" which in turn created an "implied in-fact contact".

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A filmmaker claims the creators of "Stranger Things" took the idea for the hit Netflix show from him, and he's ready to battle it out in court. Official plot details for Stranger Things season 3 are still under wraps, however, Shawn Levy revealed that the third season would take place one year after the second season, during the summer of 1985.

Whether or not the Duffer Brothers "stole" the idea from Charlie Kessler is unclear, but the latter will certainly have enough problems proving the originality of his own story. "As friends, family, and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very odd little girl", read the original Netflix description of Stranger Things, which was portrayed as "a love letter" to classic 1980s films.

The infamous MK-ULTRA program run primarily by the Central Intelligence Agency was clearly an inspiration for Stranger Things, even being name-dropped in one episode by Detective Hopper while he tries to find out what's really going on.