The Team Behind 'Stranger Things' Is Allegedly Being Sued For Stealing Ideas For The Show

The creators of Stranger Things are being sued for allegedly stealing the idea for the hit Netflix show.

Matt and Ross Duffer, also known as "The Duffer Brothers," created the concept for Stranger Things in 2015, and the show was picked up by Netflix and ultimately released in July of 2016.

The show centers on the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the '80s and the disappearance of a young boy to supernatural and paranormal forces. The show quickly became a hit and its second season averaged 8.8 million viewers per episode within the first three days of its release, according to Variety.

Filmmaker Charlie Kessler alleges that the Duffer Brothers based the plot of the show off of his 2012 short film, Montauk, and his script for a longer film entitled The Montauk Project.  He claims that the film was actually pitched to the Duffer Brothers to be turned into a TV show in 2014. Kessler alleges that after his meeting with the Duffer Brothers, he was under the impression that they were not moving forward with turning the film into a show. But, when Stranger Things was released, he was shocked to see the similarities between the two. 

Kessler is being represented by attorney Michael Kernan, who said, "After the massive success of Stranger Things ... Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff's Concepts." 

The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the show was initially going to be called Montauk. In an interview with The Hollywood ReporterMatt Duffer addressed the show's name change and cited his reasoning for wanting the show to take place on Long Island.

"We liked Montauk, because we liked the coastal setting, and Montauk was the basis for Amity, and Jaws is probably our favorite movie, so I thought that that would be really cool," he said. "Then it was really going to be impossible to shoot in or around Long Island in the wintertime."

Netflix has not publicly responded to the allegations yet, but the Duffer Brothers have denied that they stole the concept for their show. 

In a statement via email, Alex Kohner, the attorney representing Matt and Ross Duffer, told Newsweek that the Duffer Brothers had never met Kessler, nor had they seen his film. 

"Mr. Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him. This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work," the statement said.