The Duffer Brothers

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Matt and Ross Duffer
The Duffer Brothers speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for Stranger Things, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.
Matt (left) and Ross (right) Duffer at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1984-02-15) February 15, 1984 (age 35)
EducationCharles E. Jordan High School
Alma materChapman University
Occupation
  • Film and television writers
  • directors
  • producers
Years active2005–present
Known for
Spouse(s)Ross:
Leigh Janiak (m. 2015)

Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (both born February 15, 1984), known professionally as the Duffer Brothers, are American film and television writers, directors, and producers. They created the science fiction-horror series Stranger Things, wrote and directed the 2015 horror film Hidden, and have written episodes for Wayward Pines. They are twin brothers and have had a close relationship since childhood.[1] They work on all of their projects as a duo.

Career[edit]

After writing and/or directing a number of short films, their script for the post-apocalyptic horror film Hidden was acquired by Warner Bros. Pictures in 2011.[2] The brothers directed the film in 2012, which was released in 2015. Director M. Night Shyamalan read the script and hired them as writer/producers on the Fox television series Wayward Pines.

Stranger Things[edit]

From their experience in television, they began pitching their idea for Stranger Things, which Dan Cohen eventually brought to Shawn Levy. With Levy's 21 Laps production company on board, the show was quickly picked up by Netflix.[3][4] The show is set in the 1980s Indiana and is an homage to '80s pop culture,[5] inspired and aesthetically informed by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas, among others.[6][7]

It was released on July 15, 2016, to overwhelming praise,[8] specifically for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, soundtrack, directing, writing, and homages to 1980s genre films, and subsequently began to develop a cult following online.[9] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the series an approval rating of 95%, based on 82 reviews, with a weighted average score of 7.96/10. The site's critical consensus states, "Exciting, heartbreaking, and sometimes scary, Stranger Things acts as an addictive homage to Spielberg films and vintage 1980s television."[10] On August 31, 2016, Netflix renewed the series for a second season of nine episodes, which were released on October 27, 2017. In December 2017, Netflix renewed the series for a third season of eight episodes, which were released on July 4.[11]

On September 30, 2019, Netflix greenlit the fourth season of Stranger Things. In addition, Netflix announced they had signed the Duffers to a nine-figure deal for additional films and televisions shows over multiple years.[12]

Personal life[edit]

The Duffer Brothers were born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. They began making films in the third grade using a Hi8 video camera that was a gift from their parents. They attended the Duke School for Children from grades K-8, a private suburban school, and then the Charles E. Jordan High School, a large Durham public school. They relocated to Orange, California, to study film at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where they graduated in 2007.[3][13]

Ross Duffer at the San Diego Comic-Con 2017 for Stranger Things

Ross Duffer married director Leigh Janiak in Palm Springs in December 2015. The couple met in 2006 at a production company in Los Angeles, where she was an assistant to the producer and he was an intern.[14]

Matt Duffer at the San Diego Comic-Con 2017 for Stranger Things

In March 2018, the Duffer Brothers were accused of verbal abuse on the Stranger Things set by a grip who worked on the show. The crew member stated on social media that she would not return for Season 3 because the Duffer Brothers created a hostile work environment for women. The brothers strongly denied this claim and an investigation by Netflix found no wrongdoing.[15] The brothers had previously been criticized for coaxing teenage actress Sadie Sink into performing an unscripted kiss scene. However, Sink said she did not object.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Credited Notes
Directors Writers Producers Editors
2005 We All Fall Down Yes Yes No No Short film
2006 The Big Toe No No No Yes Short film
2007 Eater Yes Yes Yes No Short film
2008 Saturday Night at Norm's No No Yes No Short film
2008 The Milkman No No Yes No Short film
Also actors: Officer (Matt Duffer), Drive-by Thug (Ross Duffer)
2009 Abraham's Boys Yes Yes Yes Yes Short film
2009 Road to Moloch No Yes No No Short film
2012 Vessel No Yes No No Short film
2015 Hidden Yes Yes No No

Television[edit]

Original run Series Credited Notes
Directors Writers Producers Other
2015–2016 Wayward Pines No Yes Executive
2016–present Stranger Things Yes Yes Executive Creators

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2016 American Film Institute Award Top 10 TV Programs of the Year Stranger Things Won [17]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Drama Series Stranger Things Nominated [18]
[19]
Most Bingeworthy Show Stranger Things Nominated
2017 American Film Institute Award Top 10 TV Programs of the Year Stranger Things Won [20]
Bram Stoker Award Best Screenplay Stranger Things for "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers" Nominated [21]
Stranger Things for "Chapter Eight: The Upside Down" Nominated
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay Stranger Things for "Chapter One: MADMAX" Nominated [22]
British Academy Television Award Best International Programme Stranger Things Nominated [23]
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing – Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers" Nominated [24]
Dorian Award TV Drama of the Year Stranger Things Nominated [25]
Dragon Award Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series Stranger Things Won [26]
Empire Award Best TV Series Stranger Things Nominated [27]
Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best TV Series Stranger Things Won [28]
Golden Globe Award Best Television Series – Drama Stranger Things Nominated [29]
Hugo Award Best Dramatic Presentation Stranger Things for season 1 of Stranger Things Nominated [30]
MTV Movie & TV Award Best Show Stranger Things Won [31]
National Television Award Best Period Drama Stranger Things Nominated [32]
NME Award Best TV Series Stranger Things Nominated [33]
People's Choice Award Favorite TV Show Stranger Things Nominated [34]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers" Nominated [35]
Outstanding Drama Series Stranger Things Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers" Nominated
Producers Guild of America Award Best Episodic Drama Stranger Things Won [36]
Satellite Award Best Television Series – Genre Stranger Things Nominated [37]
Saturn Award Best New Media Television Series Stranger Things Won[a] [38]
[39]
Shorty Award Best TV Show Stranger Things Nominated [40]
TCA Award Outstanding Achievement in Drama Stranger Things Nominated [41]
Outstanding New Program Stranger Things Nominated
Program of the Year Stranger Things Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Breakout Series Stranger Things Nominated [42]
Choice Fantasy/Sci-Fi Series Stranger Things Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Television: Dramatic Series Stranger Things Nominated [43]
Television: New Series Stranger Things Nominated
2018 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Drama Series Stranger Things Nominated [44]
Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing – Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter Nine: The Gate" Nominated [45]
Empire Award Best TV Series Stranger Things Nominated [46]
Golden Globe Award Best Television Series – Drama Stranger Things Nominated [47]
MTV Movie & TV Award Best Show Stranger Things Won [48]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Favorite TV Show Stranger Things Won [49]
NME Award Best TV Series Stranger Things Won [50]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter Nine: The Gate" Nominated [51]
Outstanding Drama Series Stranger Things Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Stranger Things for "Chapter Nine: The Gate" Nominated
Producers Guild of America Award Best Episodic Drama Stranger Things Nominated [52]
Satellite Award Best Television Series – Genre Stranger Things Nominated [53]
Saturn Award Best New Media Television Series Stranger Things Nominated [54]
Teen Choice Award Choice Fantasy/Sci-Fi Series Stranger Things Nominated [55]
Writers Guild of America Award Television: Dramatic Series Stranger Things Nominated [56]
2019 Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Stranger Things Nominated [57]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Stranger Things Nominated [58]
Saturn Award Best Streaming Horror & Thriller Series Stranger Things Won [59]
Teen Choice Award Choice Summer TV Show Stranger Things Won [60]

References[edit]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tied with Marvel's Luke Cage

External links[edit]