Did 'Stranger Things' Creators Plagiarize 'Montauk' Short Film For Their Hit Netflix Show?

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Stranger Things is well on its way to the third season, however, things aren't sailing smoothly, as the Duffer brothers are accused of plagiarizing Montauk.

After the huge success of the hit Netflix sci-fi thriller series, which had also earned nods from award-giving bodies, Charlie Kessler has surfaced, claiming the creators got his concept from his 2012 short film titled Montauk and turned it into a series, Stranger Things. The accuser explained that he pitched the storyline to Matt and Ross Duffer, collectively known as the Duffer brothers, during a 2014 Tribeca Film Festival party.

Obviously, the idea didn't go far at the time. Kessler's pitched concept was a sci-fi story, which takes place at an abandoned military base wherein kids gets experimented on and revolves around a missing boy. It also has a monster, pretty much how Stranger Things goes. However, it should be noted that the Netflix series and Montauk both came after a 1992 book titled The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time.

His attorney argued that the Stranger Things creators didn't ask for permission to use his story, he wasn't credited, nor was he compensated, despite the popularity the show had been getting. Coincidentally, before selling it to giant streamer Netflix, the Duffer brothers' script was initially called Montauk, before it was changed and before it's setting was moved to Indiana.

Kessler is now asking the Duffer brothers to pay him for damages. As of writing, the respondents, as well as the company, has yet to release a statement.

Cast Pay Raise

This news came just as the cast of Stranger Things have been said to get bigger pay checks for the third season of the show. The child stars will reportedly get 12 times what they earned per episode in the past two runs of the series, and for the adult, they are looking at $350,000 per episode.

The actors' salary can be detailed as such, as per sources: "A tier" actors, Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers) and David Harbour (Jim Hopper), are earning as much as $350,000 per episode; Noah Schnapp (Will), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) belong to the "B tier," who get $250,000 per episode; lastly, the "C tier," consisting of Charlie Heaton (Jonathan), Joe Keery (Steve), and Natalia Dyer (Nancy), receives $150,000 per episode.

Notably missing is Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, who is one of the show's lead. It remains a mystery if she is getting higher pays than other kids in the show, or the adult celebrities for that matter, or if she receives the same amount as the adult actors.

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