Stranger Things: Creators and Netflix Sued Again for Allegedly Stealing Show Idea

For the second time, the creators of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things are being taken to court for allegedly stealing the idea for the storyline. The nostalgia-ridden horror series has become one of the biggest shows on the streaming service, and showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have already dealt with claims that they stole ideas for the plot of Stranger Things. Now a new report from TheWrap indicates that Jeffrey Kennedy claims the show has been heavily influenced by a script he wrote called "Totem," alleging that themes, characters, dialogue, and the narrative were lifted from his work. Courts might find this case more interesting because Aaron Sims contributed concept art for Stranger Things after he worked with Kennedy on the "Totem" project.

The lawsuit details that the inspiration for Totem came from a childhood friend who suffered from epilepsy, which the pair often considered to be his "personal demon," with his seizure episodes feeling as though he was being sent to another dimension where that demon lived. In the first season of Stranger Things, Will Byers is captured and taken to the Upside Down, while the second season saw him coping with the mental after-effects of the experience and having visions of that dimension and its many monsters.

The lawsuit goes on to detail even more similarities between the two narratives.

"In Totem, one of the characters is a little girl named Kimimela or 'Kimi' for short who has supernatural powers," the lawsuit details. "Kimimela helps her friends find the portal gate to an alternate supernatural plane and helps them battle the plane’s inhabitants; a dark spirit named Azrael and his army of Blackwolf."

It continues, "In Stranger Things, one of the characters is a little girl name Eleven or 'El' for short who has supernatural powers. Eleven helps her friends find the portal gate to an alternate supernatural plane and helps them battle the plane’s inhabitants; a Shadow Monster and his army of Demogorgon."

In response to this latest lawsuit, Netflix didn't mince words about the conflict.

“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for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them," Netflix shared with TheWrap. "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.”

Just last year, a lawsuit was dropped by a man who claimed he had pitched the concept of the series to the Duffer Brothers back in 2014, only for them to go on and develop the project without him.

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Stay tuned for details on Stranger Things.

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