Stranger Things Lawsuit Was Suddenly Dropped Just Before Heading To Trial

eleven angry stranger things season 3

Stranger Things' fans have been waiting eons (in Netflix binge-time) for Season 3 to make its debut. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer were likely also anticipating the new episodes' summer arrival, but they had other problems to worry about in the meantime, such as a sizable lawsuit accusing them of plagiarizing the central Stranger Things concept. Those worries might as well hop into the Upside Down now, though, because the lawsuit has been dropped by the plaintiff.

The day before Matt and Ross Duffer were expected to show up in court for trial, the plagiarism accuser Charles Kessler officially withdrew his lawsuit, thus bringing the headline-making legal battle to an end. When he first filed the complaint back in April of 2018, Kessler claimed that he pitched a concept and provided materials to the Duffer brothers that shared various characteristics with Stranger Things, and he believed they legitimately stole his idea in order to create their Netflix series.

Now, however, it appears Charles Kessler was finally convinced that his accusations weren't as legally ironclad as he'd initially believed. Here's how he explained his revised stance in a statement, via Deadline.

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.

Charles Kessler also stated that he will be making no further comment on the matter, so don't expect to see him going into any detailed explanations in the near future, if ever.

For those who aren't aware of the most recent goings-on with the Duffer brothers' case, the lawsuit was denied a requested dismissal by a judge who stated the defendants hadn't produced enough proof to warrant him throwing the case out. That ruling sparked some questions about whether or not the creators would have enough of a defense to come out on the winning side, especially after the Duffers had initially brushed off the lawsuit as being patently unfounded.

Stranger Things Season 3: What We Know So Far

In 2014, Charles Kessler claims he pitched the Duffers an idea based on a short film he'd created called Montauk, which had plot points such as a young boy going missing, a hardened cop with a troubled past, secret experiments being handled by the military. When one also factors in that Stranger Things started life at Netflix under the tentative title of Montauk, it becomes more clear why the lawsuit made it as far as it did.

No reason to wonder about it anymore, though, now that the case is completely kaput. Netflix took little time to celebrate the win, saying this in a statement:

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. 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.

With legal troubles now behind them, Matt and Ross Duffer can put the bulk of their energy and attention into promoting Season 3 of Stranger Things, as it should be. The new season will welcome back all of the surviving characters from Season 2 – sorry, Bob – and will also introduce at least two new faces, with actors Cary Elwes and Jake Busey joining the cast in roles whose details are few and far between.

Check out the full first trailer for Stranger Things Season 3 below.

Maybe soon, David Harbour will put on a one-man show where he'd enact whatever might have happened during the Duffer brothers' trial had it gone that far. In that situation, everyone would win.

Stranger Things Season 3 is set to debut on Netflix on Thursday, July 4, at 12:01 a.m. PT.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.