In a development that’s so seemingly straightforward that it almost feels like the invisible hand of a massive government conspiracy has stepped in to guide events in a specific way, the Stranger Things plagiarism lawsuit has been dropped by the plaintiff just a few days before it was set to go to trial. A judge rejected an attempt from Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer to get the case dismissed just weeks ago, but now—as reported by Deadline—the suit has been fully withdrawn by filmmaker Charles Kessler.
This all started about a year ago, when Kessler claimed that he had pitched the Duffers on an idea for a feature film called Montauk about a secret government facility in a small town that had inadvertently tapped into some wild sci-fi nightmares. That, of course, is the same premise as the Duffers’ hit Netflix show, which also had the working title Montauk while it was in development, and while that may seem like a nail in Stranger Things’ coffin, it was actually a reference to the real-life conspiracy theory involving the real-life town of Montauk and the real-life military base nearby that may have been involved in weirdo sci-fi experiments during the Cold War.
In an oddly cordial statement, Kessler explained that he chose to withdraw his suit after hearing some expert testimony and looking at the evidence the Duffers had provided:
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. As a result, I have withdrawn my claim and I will be making no further comment on this matter.
“Whatever I may have believed in the past” is an odd line when dealing with sci-fi conspiracies. Just saying. Anyway, Netflix’s main concern in all of this has been that a trial may have required it to give up Stranger Things secrets and spoilers, which could’ve hurt the show no matter how things turned out. It, naturally, is happy about this turn of events, and Netflix released a statement of its own about how proud it is of the Duffers brothers for having created such a “groundbreaking and original” show.
With this legal issue now in the past, Stranger Things can meet its July 4 premiere date without any drama. Now if only we could get a similar withdrawal for literally everything that happened to Eleven in season two.