In case you haven’t heard,
Now the showrunners are hitting back through their lawyer, who released a statement saying:
“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.”
Kessler’s pitch allegedly includes a young boy disappearing, a cop with a haunted past, secret government experiments, and a monster from another dimension that looks like a child’s toy — things that might sound familiar to fans of the show.
But Kessler even says they stole his title — because Stranger Things was originally titled Montauk!
The Duffers have been open about the original title of their show; heck, it’s on the Wikipedia page! They even made this faux retro book cover as part of their pitch:
So how could the two come up with a similar premise and the EXACT SAME title independently??
Well, it’s not from out of thin air… or the Upside Down.
Both were based on the real life Montauk Project conspiracy theory, which has been around since the early 1980s. According to rumors, a government institute in Montauk, New York, conducted strange experiments there. A parapsychologist with “repressed memories” wrote a series of books about it which included teleportation, mind control, aliens, and a hole in time and space.
There was a documentary about it in 2014. It was even featured in an X-Files episode.
Hmm… Seems like a lot of what Kessler is claiming as his own wasn’t even his. As for his actual pitch, we guess a judge will have to decide.
[Image via Netflix.]