HomeEntertainmentMeet Duffer Brothers: All About the Creators of 'Stranger Things'

Meet Duffer Brothers: All About the Creators of ‘Stranger Things’

The Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross Duffer have been on quite a journey over the last couple of years. These two geniuses are the creators and executive producers of the Netflix science fiction horror drama series Stranger Things.

Continue reading further to learn the story of their life from how at one point the two of them were making short films to creating Stranger Things. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Duffer Brothers

Matt and Ross Duffer are twin brothers who were born on February 15, 1984, in Durham, North Carolina, U.S. They started making films in third grade via a Hi8 video camera that was gifted to them by their parents.

The brothers went to the Duke School for Children from grades K-8, a private suburban school. After a while, they attended the Charles E. Jordan High School, a large Durham public school.

Shortly soon they moved to Orange, California, to study film at Chapman University’s  Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The Duffer Brothers earned their Bachelor’s degrees in the year 2007.

What made the Duffer Brothers fall in love with the world of movies?

During an interaction with The Guardian, Matt and Ross spilled the beans on what made them fall in love with the world of movies. At that point, Matt said, “You find a movie you love and you figure out who directed it, then you go to the video store and go through all the John Carpenter stuff and all the Sam Raimi stuff.”

Matt told The Wrap, that the duo had decided they were going to the film school when they were in fourth or fifth grade. He said, “We decided around fourth or fifth grade that we were going.”

Ross Duffer told the publication that at that time, there was one problem and he further added,”[A]t the time, it was just USC, USC, USC, maybe NYU. ’Cause, that’s what you hear about. But we didn’t get into either of those schools.”

The brothers picked up Chapman over Florida State University because FSU “didn’t want us working together.” Ross said, “That was a deal-breaker,” meanwhile Matt added, “We don’t even know how we work alone.”

When did the Duffer Brothers step into the field of entertainment?

The Duffer Brothers are American film and television writers, directors, and producers. The two of them are well-known as the showrunners and executive producers of the smash-hit series Stranger Things. Before garnering the attention of the viewers, the duo had penned down the scripts and directed many short films.

Matt told The Wrap, “You go into these rooms and they’re so disinterested in anything you have to say before you even open your mouth. That’s when you start to feel that it’s impossible. There were moments when we thought, ‘We’re never going to break through because no one will take us seriously.’”

Matt and Ross’ script for the post-apocalyptic horror film Hidden was obtained by Warner Bros. Pictures in the year 2011. The bros went on to direct the movie and it saw the light of the day in 2015.

Soon afterward, the brothers were hired as writers/producers for the Fox television series Wayward Pines. From there on, these didn’t look back and began pitching ideas for Stranger Things to studios all over Hollywood.

‘Stranger Things’ was rejected by 15-20 networks before Netflix became its home

Yes, you heard it right. During an interaction with Rolling Stone in 2016, the Duffer brothers stated their show Stranger Things was rejected by almost 15 to 20 networks. They went on to say that many people showed interest in the show but they were not willing to let the brothers direct the show.

One of the biggest complaints from the side of the huge studios about the show Stranger Things was the fact that it was a science fiction and horror show that focused on a group of children as the main characters.

A few prospective studios even told the brothers to change the tone of the show to make it more kid-friendly or otherwise change the narrative and put the focus on one of the adult characters like Sheriff Hopper, played by actor David Harbour.

In an interaction with Rolling Stone, the brothers stated what one executive told them, they said, ″‘You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town.’”

Matt even recalled the incident and remembered responding, that doing so would “lose everything interesting about the show.” And just when the Duffer Brothers thought about giving up on Stranger Things, Netflix gave a green signal to the show and picked it up.

The Duffer Brothers pitched the idea to Shawn Levy and he was sold

For those of you who are unversed, let us tell you Shawn Levy is the director-producer who runs the production company 21 Laps Entertainment. He introduced the Duffer Brothers to the Netflix executives.

In a 2016 interview with Hollywood Reporter, Levy stated that he remembered meeting the Duffers, and hearing their pitch for the show, and he said, “within 10 minutes I knew that these were future major guys.”

Shawn went on talk about the Duffer Brothers and further added, “They had a self-assurance that was self-evident. So, we pitched it to Netflix, and within 24 hours, we had the whole season bought.”

These two brothers learned from their failures and they didn’t leave that ray of hope to succeed and they believed in their ideas and thoughts to an extent that they were able to convince others.  Apart from Stranger Things, the two of them also worked on various films such as We All Fall Down, Eater, Vessel, and Wayward Pines.

Have you seen volume 2 of Stranger Things season 4? If you have then do let us know how you liked it in the comments section below and if you haven’t watched it then what are you waiting for, go watch it now, it’s streaming on Netflix. Don’t forget to stay tuned with us for the latest updates from the world of entertainment.

Meenal Mehta
Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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