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‘Stranger Things’ Plagiarism Lawsuit Vanishes


Male hand holding TV remote control.

In the world of litigation, it is exceptionally rare to see the plaintiff behind a lawsuit withdraw their legal claims and make a statement explaining that they were wrong.

While stranger things have happened in litigation, this is exactly what just happened in the Stranger Things plagiarism lawsuit that was filed last year and was just days away from trial. The plaintiff in that lawsuit issued a statement that carefully explained that he was completely wrong and that the Duffer brothers came up with the idea independently. Notably, there has been no mention if there was any financial settlement, only that the plaintiff is dropping the case and was wrong.

How Strange was the Case?

The lawsuit, filed by Charlie Kessler, claimed that the Netflix hit Stranger Things was stolen from his idea and film, titled Montauk. Kessler had alleged that he met and discussed working with the brothers at a 2014 film festival, but never heard back from them. Then, the following year when Stranger Things debuted, he was shocked to see his idea on the streaming screen. Additionally, likely lending some more motivation to his desire to file the lawsuit, originally, the title of Stranger Things was Montauk.

However, before Kessler even made his bold statement that he was wrong, his claims were considered somewhat dubious. After all, his story was based upon an urban legend that had been told time and time again about some child disappearance in Montauk. In fact, one of the Duffer brothers had even recalled hearing about the legend while still in high school, which is rather fitting and on brand for the whole Stranger Things franchise. The evidence in the case showed the brothers had started talking about the idea as far back as 2010.

More Things

Fortunately for fans of the show and Netflix, the disappearance of the lawsuit means that there is no chance the third season of the show (starting July 4) won’t get released — a potential result had this lawsuit not been so strange.

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