Published May 05, 2019Last year, filmmaker Charlie Kessler accused Matt and Ross Duffer of stealing his idea to create their hit Netflix series Stranger Things. The brothers responded, claiming the accusation was "completely meritless," but the case was set to go to trial this week regardless. Now, however, Kessler has completely withdrawn his claim.
As Deadline reports, Kessler withdrew his damages suit today and shared a statement in doing so.
"After hearing the deposition testimony this week of the legal expert I hired, it is now apparent to me that, whatever I may have believed in the past, my work had nothing to do with the creation of Stranger Things," Kessler said. "Documents from 2010 and 2013 prove that the Duffers independently created their show. As a result, I have withdrawn my claim and I will be making no further comment on this matter."
Netflix also shared a statement about the lawsuit coming to an end.
"We are glad to be able to put this baseless lawsuit behind us. As we have said all along, Stranger Things is a ground-breaking original creation by the Duffer Brothers," the streaming company said. "We are proud of this show and of our friends Matt and Ross, whose artistic vision gave life to Stranger Things, and whose passion, imagination and relentless hard work alongside our talented cast and crew made it a wildly successful, award-winning series beloved by viewers around the world."
Kessler had previously claimed that he pitched the Duffer brothers on an idea for a show called The Montauk Project while meeting with them at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014. The Duffer brothers did not show any interest in the project, but then initially pitched Stranger Things under the name Montauk.
The trial had been set to begin on May 6.