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Stranger Things Plagiarism Case Headed to Trial

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Things are at a turning point for the Upside Down.

Matt and Ross Duffer have previously been accused of stealing the idea for Stranger Things from a man named Charlie Kessler, who is claiming to have pitched the idea to them at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. After unsuccessfully attempting to get the case tossed, the brothers are now headed to court, according to THR.

Kessler alleges that the idea for the hit series was taken from his feature sci-fi film script set near an abandoned military base titled The Montauk Project, the concept of which he says he shared with the Duffers during a brief encounter.

The Duffer’s attorney writes, per 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 denial of summary judgment puts the Duffers and Netflix in a precarious situation as they will be tasked with keeping information regarding plot points and dealmaking from leaking as the trial commences.

A Netflix spokesperson told THR in response to the case, “The Duffer Brothers have our full support. This case has no merit, which we look forward to being confirmed by a full hearing of the facts in court.”

The trial will begin May 6. Meanwhile, Stranger Things returns for season three on July 4.

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