Stranger Things creators and Netflix sued for 'ripping plot and characters from unpublished screenplay'

STRANGER Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, and Netflix are being sued for ‘ripping plot and characters from an unpublished screenplay’.

Production company Irish Rover Entertainment has claimed that the plot and characters of Stranger Things is a direct copy from its TV series project, Totem. 

The screenplay Totem is written by Jeffrey Kennedy, who is responsible for the series' "plot, sequence, characters, theme, dialogue, mood, and setting, as well as copyrighted concept art".

According to the lawsuit, both shows are linked by Aaron Sims who helped Kennedy develop Totem, then later went on to provide the concept art for Stranger Things.

In response to the lawsuit, a Netflix representative told The Wrap: "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for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them.

"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."

Kennedy says that the idea for Totem was inspired by the death of his childhood friend Clint Osthimer, who suffered from 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 goes on to draw numerous comparisons between the two shows.

For instance, in Kennedy’s screenplay Totem, one of the characters is a young girl named Kimimela (Kimi for short) who possesses supernatural powers. 

With the help of her friends, Kimi finds a portal to a supernatural dimension where they battle a dark spirit named Azrael and his army of Blackwolf.

Kennedy claims in the lawsuit that Stranger Things' premise is an exact copy of this, with the girl instead named Eleven (El for short) who fights a shadow monster and his army of Demogorgon.

Stranger Things series one to three is available to stream on Netflix now.

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