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‘Stranger Things’ creators respond to lawsuit alleging they stole the idea for the hit sci-fi series

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Matt and Ross Duffer on the set of “Stranger Things Season 2.” (Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix)

The creators of Stranger Things” have denied accusations that they stole the idea for their hit Netflix series from a short film by director Charlie Kessler, who has filed suit against

In a statement from their attorney Alex Kohner, Matt and Ross Duffer called Kessler’s lawsuit “completely meritless.”

“[Kessler] had no connection to the creation or development of ‘Stranger Things,’ “ said the statement. “The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr. Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him. This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Much of the first season of “Stranger Things” involved the strange events at a government laboratory and the disappearance of a young boy.

Kessler alleges “Stranger Things” is based on his short film “Montauk,” which premiered at a film festival in 2012 and was meant as a teaser for a feature-length film, “The Montauk Project.” He said he shared the idea of the two films with the Duffer brothers during a Tribeca Film Festival party in 2014.

Kessler claims in the lawsuit that “Stranger Things” was originally sold to Netflix as “The Montauk Project.”

He argues that there was in implied-in-fact contract when he spoke to the Duffer brothers about his film at the 2014 party, and that they used the idea without permission or compensation.

Kessler is asking for an injunction ordering the Duffer brothers to stop using and destroy all materials related to his concepts. He also seeks restitution in the amount of benefits to the creators, lost profits and punitive damages.

‘Yellow Submarine’ turns 50, back on screen

The Beatles’ innovative 1968 animated film “Yellow Submarine” will return to theaters this summer in a new 4K restoration created to mark the movie’s 50th anniversary.

The theatrical run begins July 8, with details on specific cities and theaters to be announced on the film’s official website.

The original was restored by hand, frame by frame rather than using automated software.

The original project in the late ‘60s was begrudgingly approved by the band, which had little involvement in its making, other than approving the use of several songs for the soundtrack and their participation in a filmed segment at the end.

Yet it still enhanced the group’s legacy for creativity with its forward-thinking combination of animation, live action and manipulated still photos, anticipating some of the style later to become a hallmark of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The soundtrack, which includes such Beatles standards as “All You Need Is Love,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and the title track, has been remixed in 5.1 surround sound.

Happy Birthday

Actor Sterling K. Brown is 42 … Rapper Juicy J is 43 … Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams is 45.

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