The creators of the Long Island-inspired Netflix hit series Stranger Things have been accused of ripping off the plot in a lawsuit that a judge set a trial date for next month.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Stern scheduled ruled this week that plaintiff Charlie Kessler’s lawsuit against Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer will go to trial on May 6.

“The credibility of the parties is an issue of material fact to be decided by the trier of fact,” wrote the judge, who rejected the brothers’ motion to dismiss the case.

Kessler accused the Duffer brothers of stealing his idea for the show, which involves a military base that kidnaps and performs experiments on children, unleashing a series of supernatural phenomena. 

Related Story: 5 Real-Life ‘Stranger Things’-Montauk, Long Island Parallels

“We look forward to proving Mr. Kessler’s case at trial,” Kessler’s attorney, S. Michael Keman, said in a statement.

The brothers maintain that they came up with the idea independently before Kessler mentioned it to them. Both Kessler and the Duffers plots were set in Montauk, which was the original title of Stranger Things before it was changed to Indiana.

“The Duffer Brothers have our full support,” Netflix said in statement. “This case has no merit.”

Season three of Stranger Things returns July 4.


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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.