The 2018 lawsuit that alleged that Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer stole the idea from someone they worked with in the past has been dropped. Director Charlie Kessler, who alleged that the brothers stole his idea for what they later made into Stranger Things, dropped the lawsuit just 48 hours before the trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday.
His lawyer confirmed this to The Hollywood Reporter. Kessler said in a statement that the Duffer brothers “independently created the show.” As THR mentions, it’s unclear if Kessler was paid for dropping the lawsuit and releasing the statement, but Kessler said the decision to drop the lawsuit was not a settlement. Still, both sides declined to say if any money changed hands.
Kessler initially sued the Duffer brothers on a claim that he pitched them on an idea for a project that takes place on Long Island, New York near an abandoned military base and has sci-fi elements including government experiments.
The Duffer brothers always maintained that they created Stranger Things independently.
Intriguingly, it was believed that secrets about Stranger Things and Netflix’s own business models and other financial details might have emerged if the case went to court.
“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. Documents from 2010 and 2013 prove that the Duffers independently created their show,” Kessler said. “As a result, I have withdrawn my claim and I will be making no further comment on this matter.”
For its part, a representative for Netflix said the company is happy to “put this baseless lawsuit behind us.” Stranger Things Season 3 premieres on July 4.