Stranger Things 2 is set in 1984 in, residence are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab, but a sinister entity threatens those left survivors.
The eight-episode Netflix series was originally set in and titled Montauk. So, whether or not they knew about the real life Montauk Project before Charlie Kessler spoke to them or not is probably what this whole case will hinge on.
"[Kessler] had no connection to the creation or development of 'Stranger Things, '" the statement said. "Mr. Kessler's claim is completely meritless".
Kessler's lawsuit alleges that the Duffer brothers breached an implied contract with him after he pitched them a similar sci-fi story set near a secret military base two years before Stranger Things was released.
Both Kessler's short and Stranger Things appear to draw inspiration from a conspiracy theory about The Montauk Project, an alleged secret USA government program that purportedly conducted experiments on children at a Long Island, N.Y., military base in the 1970s and early 1980s. The filmmaker is now seeking an injunction ordering the Duffer brothers to stop using his concepts and to destroy all materials based on those concepts, as well as restitution, lost profits and punitive damages. The short film, Montauk, was premiered at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival.
The show was billed as featuring "top secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very unusual little girl". That is not far off from the original concept of "Stranger Things". "You have a self tape request for the Netflix series "Montauk" starring Winona Ryder", reads the casting call.
Kessler's attorney says that the pitch his client made to the Duffers formed a verbal contract by the trio "based on industry expectations" which in turn created an "implied in-fact contact".
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