‘Stranger Things’ Lawsuit Alleging Creators Stole Idea For Series Headed to Trial
A lawsuit over one of Netflix’s biggest TV series appears headed to trial.
The Hollywood Reporter says that a Los Angeles judge denied summary judgment to the Duffer brothers in their case with a writer named Charlie Kessler, who alleges the Duffers took his idea for a film script called The Montauk Project and used it as the basis for Stranger Things, the wildly popular Netflix show about the bizarre happenings around a small town in the 1980s.
Kessler claims he met the Duffers and pitched them the idea, which they deny. Their attorneys say (via THR):
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. 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.
The judge in the case ruled that the Duffers’ arguments that they came up with the Stranger Things concepts years earlier “lack verifying evidence of the originality of their idea.”
Regardless of the suit’s merits, if the case does go to trial, all sorts of fascinating details about the inner workings of Netflix — a notoriously secretive company — could come out during evidentiary hearings. The trial is currently scheduled to begin in May; the third season of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix on July 4, 2019.
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