With its pastiche of 80s references and science fiction homages, Stranger Things is definitely a show that borrows from its predecessors. Nothing wrong with being inspired by what came before. However, the Duffer Brothers have recently been accused of taking this too far.
TMZ reports that Charlie Kessler is suing the Duffer Brothers for taking an idea of his. In 2012 Kessler created the film Montauk, about paranormal investigations at a government research facility. Fans of Stranger Things will note that this is a plot point in the series. Then again, there are plenty of films, books, movies, and even real conspiracy theories about such events.
However, Kessler claims that after Montauk released, he pitched it as a television series to the Duffer Brothers in 2014. Two years later Stranger Things debuted and Kessler found that they apparently borrowed heavily from his script. Supposedly they even sold the show under the title “The Montauk Project.”
It’s hard to say how much of a claim Kessler has, but that’s up to the courts to decide. While it seems suspicious for a show to borrow from the plot of a pitched script, the government experiment plot Stranger Things is famously based on MK Ultra and other events.