Matt and Ross Duffer, the twin brothers behind hit sci-fi series "Stranger Things," wanted to be filmmakers since they were in elementary school, but that dream hit a snag when the Duffers received rejection letters from all their top choices for film school. Then, after they came up with the idea for "Stranger Things," they were rejected over a dozen times before landing on Netflix.
The Duffer brothers, now 34, are the creative minds writing and directing one of Netflix's most hyped shows. The streaming giant teased the upcoming third season of "Stranger Things" (due at some point in 2019) in a new teaser trailer on Sunday night that had nearly 3 million views on YouTube by Tuesday morning.
But, long before the brothers were receiving Emmy nominations for their work, Matt and Ross Duffer were making homemade films in their North Carolina backyard with a Hi8 video camera they received as a gift from their parents in the third grade. Growing up, the brothers fell in love with movies.
Tim Burton's 1989 version of "Batman" was one of the earliest movies the brothers, who were born in 1984, became obsessed with, they told The Guardian. "What we could see was there was someone behind the curtain controlling all of this, and you could see it from one Tim Burton film to the next, that the guy who made Edward Scissorhands also made Batman. You could connect the dots because his style was so distinct," Ross said.
The brothers then started closely following other big-name directors whose work would influence their breakout hit, "Stranger Things," the style and tone of which they've said draws heavily from Steven Spielberg hits like "E.T" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as well as the horror films of John Carpenter.