Recently, there has been news that a production company is suing Netflix and Stranger Things showrunners. They claim that the Duffer brothers and the company stole their original idea. However, the showrunners and Netflix deny the allegations.
Why the production company that’s suing them believes the idea was copied
The lawsuit states that the Irish Rover Entertainment directly copied their TV project idea ‘Totem’. It had a very similar concept to Stranger Things. Jeffrey Kennedy wrote the screenplay for ‘Totem’. Kennedy was in charge of making the plot, the characters as well as the overall theme. Moreover, he was also behind the copyrighted concept art. Apparently, the person behind Totem’s concept art is Aaron Sims who is also linked with Stranger Things concept art.
Jeffrey Kennedy claims that the original idea he had for Totem was one based in his personal life. In childhood, he had a friend Clint Osthimer. Osthimer had epilepsy and he tragically died. Hence, ‘Totem’ was inspired by Osthimer’s death. The lawsuit states:
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.
Stranger Things similarity to Totem
The lawsuit shares that there are a lot of similar things between both the shows’ ideas. Just like Eleven in Stranger Things, there is a girl Kimimela (aka Kimi). Kimi also has powers like El that are of a supernatural nature. Moreover, Kimi also discovers an alternate dimension via a gate. That’s just like how Eleven found a gate to another dimension. The main difference is that while Kimimela and her friends are fighting against the dark Azrael and the army of Blackwolf, Eleven and her friends are fighting against Demogorgon.
Netflix denies the allegations
After the lawsuit was filed, Netflix came out and denied it. In a statement, the company’s representative said:
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for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that The Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them.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.
Stranger Things’ season 4 is underway. It is going to release this year.