There is a lawsuit claiming that the idea for “Stranger Things” came from the screenplay “Totem,” which Netflix and the show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, are accused of stealing.
Irish Rover Entertainment claims that “Stranger Things” plagiarises “Totem,” a screenplay written by Jeffrey Kennedy, including “plot, sequence, characters, theme, dialogue, mood and setting, as well as copyrighted concept art,” in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in California federal court.
According to the lawsuit, a man named Aaron Sims, who worked closely with Kennedy during the development of the two projects, is the link between them. “Stranger Things” concept art for the first two seasons was created by Sims, according to the lawsuit.
“Totem” was inspired by the death of Kennedy’s childhood friend, Clint Osthimer, who had epilepsy. According to the lawsuit, Osthimer and Kennedy had to deal with the “personal demon” of his epilepsy, which caused “lightning showers” in his brain, as a child in rural Indiana.
When he experienced these lightning showers or seizures, he would be transported to an alternate realm where the demon lived.”
The lawsuit argues that “Totem” and “Stranger Things” share a lot of similarities. For instance, according to the lawsuit:
“Kimi,” a young girl with supernatural abilities who goes by the name of Kimimela in the film “Totem,” is one of the lead characters. Kimimela aids her friends in locating a portal to a different supernatural plane where they face Azrael and his army of Blackwolf, a dark spirit with an army of his own.
When Compared to “stranger Things,” the Lawsuit States:
The title character of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is a young girl named Eleven, who wields supernatural abilities. A Shadow Monster and his army of Demogorgons inhabit an alternate supernatural plane, and Eleven helps her friends find the portal gate to the otherworldly realm.
According to the complaint, Irish Rover Entertainment claims unspecified damages for alleged copyright infringement.
Mr. Kennedy has been peddling these far-fetched conspiracy theories for years despite Netflix repeatedly telling him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them,” a Netflix representative told TheWrap.
He filed this frivolous lawsuit after we refused to comply with his demands for a bribe.
No one can deny that ‘Stranger Things was created by multiple people. In reality, the show was created by The Duffer Brothers and is the result of their hard work and creativity.'”
This kind of lawsuit was filed in 2018 against Netflix by a man named Charles Kessler, who claimed credit for the idea for “Stranger Things” was stolen from him. In 2014, at a Tribeca Film Festival party, he claimed to have pitched the idea to the Duffer brothers.
While the Duffers had always been interested in film, they became excited by the prospect of television becoming more cinematic. A 10-episode miniseries based on shows like True Detective or It was born from this.
Hugh Jackman’s 2013 film Prisoners, in which he played a father searching for his kidnapped daughter, served as an initial inspiration for the Stranger Things storyline.
They also talked about the strange experiments conducted by the government during the Cold War, particularly Project MKUltra. To honor all of their favorite films from their childhood, they decided to set the show in the 1980s. Despite this, they promptly threw the idea out after only a few weeks of thinking about it because they didn’t think they could pull it off on television due to their lack of experience.
Wayward Pines hired them as writers, and they took full advantage of the opportunity to gain experience in the production of an episodic television show.
Montauk’s pilot script was written by the duo, who also created a 20-page pitch book in the style of Stephen King’s books to promote the show.
In addition, a mock trailer featuring clips from 20-30 of the show’s inspiration films was created. They were turned down by 15 to 20 networks because of the show’s unsuitability for children’s audiences despite the fact that four of the five main characters were.
Executives were split on whether the show should be aimed at children or follow Hopper as he investigates strange happenings in the town. These demands from the Duffers were rejected by the Duffers because they feared that the story’s interest would be squandered.
In late 2014, 21 Laps Entertainment Vice President Dan Cohen presented the script to Shawn Levy, director, and producer. After reading the script, Levy was convinced that he had to help bring the Duffer brothers’ vision to life.
They then pitched the show to Netflix, who bought the entire season within a day of hearing about it. The Duffers began writing the show in early April 2015 and brought Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen on board as executive producers to begin casting and filming as soon as possible.
On July 15, 2016, Netflix announced that the first season had been renewed for a second season, which was announced at the end of August.
That’s not to say that the Duffer brothers didn’t reveal that they had been working on a second season of the show even before the first season aired; it was Netflix’s decision to make it public a month later. Season two’s central plot was set before the first season aired, but the Duffers used the feedback from viewers to make changes to the second season.
They also chose the title Stranger Things 2 to distinguish it from the first season, which they viewed as a continuation rather than a sequel. They also wrote season two so that it felt like a complete work with the first, while also setting up some elements for the future in case more seasons are greenlit.