The creators of “Stranger Things” are facing a plagiarism lawsuit.
According to The Wrap, the company Irish Rover Entertainment filed a lawsuit in California federal court on Wednesday alleging that Netflix and Matt and Ross Duffer copied key elements from a screenplay called “Totem”.
The suit claims the copied elements include “plot, sequence, characters, theme, dialogue, mood, and setting, as well as copyrighted concept art,” from the script by writer Jeffrey Kennedy.
According to the suit, “Stranger Things” and “Totem” are also connected through a man named Aaron Sims, who worked with Kennedy during development on his script, and was later hired as a concept artist for seasons 1 and 2 of the Netflix hit.
Kennedy says in the filing that the idea for “Totem” was inspired by the death of a childhood friend who had epilepsy.
“During their childhood together in rural Indiana,” the lawsuit says, “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.”
Pointing to similarities between the two properties, the suit describes, “In ‘Totem’, one of the characters is a little girl named Kimimela or ‘Kimi’ for short who has supernatural powers. 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.”
Irish Rover Entertainment did not specify damages in their claim.
In a statement to The Wrap, a rep for Netflix 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for years, even though Netflix has repeatedly explained to him that the Duffer Brothers had never heard of him or his unpublished script until he began threatening to sue them.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.”