Say it ain't so! Netflix and the creators of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer, are being sued. A company called Irish Rover Entertainment claims that the idea for Stranger Things was stolen from a screenplay written by a man named Jeffrey Kennedy. The screenplay in question is called "Totem" and evidently shares several similarities with the hit series.
According to The Wrap, "Totem" and Stranger Things have many similarities, including, “plot, sequence, characters, theme, dialogue, mood, and setting, as well as copyrighted concept art.” Kennedy was inspired to write "Totem" after the death of his friend Clint Osthimer, who had epilepsy. The lawsuit reads:
"During their childhood together in rural Indiana, Osthimer and Kennedy dealt with the constant threat of Osthimer’s ‘personal demon,’ epilepsy, which created ‘lightning showers’ in his brain. These lightning showers or seizures would send him to an alternate supernatural plane where the demon resided.”
The lawsuit explains that Stranger Things and "Totem" are connected by a man named Aaron Sims, explaining that Sims was hired to create the concept art for the first two seasons of the Netflix show and also worked closely with Kennedy on the creation of "Totem." The lawsuit also lists further similarities, mainly that both shows involve supernatural aspects.
“Mr. Kennedy has been peddling these far-fetched conspiracy theories for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them," said a representative from Netflix. "After we refused to give in to his demands for a payoff, he filed this baseless lawsuit. There is no shortage of people who would like to claim credit for creating Stranger Things. But the truth is the show was independently conceived by The Duffer Brothers, and is the result of their creativity and hard work.”
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in California federal court. I would be pretty surprised if Irish Rover Entertainment wins, but we'll just have to wait and see.