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Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (born February 15, 1984 in Durham, North Carolina), 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.

The Duffer Brothers
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 34)
Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Chapman University
Occupation Film and television writers, directors and producers
Years active 2005–present
Known for


Life and careerEdit

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 matriculated to 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.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.

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.[5] According to media reports, Matt is dating Stranger Things department head hairstylist and makeup artist Sarah Hindsgaul.[6]

Stranger ThingsEdit

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.[2][7] The show is set in 1983 Indiana and is an homage to '80s pop culture,[8] inspired and aesthetically informed by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas, among others.[9][10]

It premiered in the summer of 2016 to excellent reviews,[11] 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.[12] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the series an approval rating of 95%, based on 55 reviews, with a weighted average score of 8.1/10. 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."[13] 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, one less than the former season.[14]

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]


Short filmsEdit

Year Title Credited Notes
Directed Written Produced Edited
2005 We All Fall Down Yes Yes No No
2006 The Big Toe No No No Yes
2007 Eater Yes Yes Yes No
2008 Saturday Night at Norm's No No Yes No
2008 The Milkman No No Yes No Also actors: Officer (Matt Duffer), Drive-by Thug (Ross Duffer)
2009 Abraham's Boys Yes Yes Yes Yes
2009 Road to Moloch No Yes No No
2012 Vessel No Yes No No

Feature filmsEdit

Year Title Credited Notes
Directed Written Produced
2015 Hidden Yes Yes No


Series Original run Credited Notes
Executive Produced Written Directed
Wayward Pines 2015–2016 (Fox) Yes Yes No
Stranger Things 2016–present (Netflix) Yes Yes Yes Creators


  1. ^ Nobil, Taryn (November 23, 2017). "Duffer Brothers on 'Stranger Things' 2 and What Scares Them". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Lindsey, Craig (July 9, 2016). "Durham's Duffer Brothers land on Netflix". The News & Observer. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  3. ^ Bonker, Dawn (August 19, 2016). "The wild and strange summer of The Duffer Brothers '07 and 'Stranger Things'". Chapman University. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ Sneider, Jeff (December 1, 2011). "Warners buys spec from recent grads". Variety. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Leigh Janiak, Ross Duffer". The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Stranger Things creators apologize after accusations of verbal abuse". NZ Herald. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  7. ^ Geoff Berkshire, 'Stranger Things': Shawn Levy on Directing Winona Ryder, Netflix's Viral Model, Variety, 22 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Stranger Things is an Homage to the Greats". FrightFind. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ Leeds, Sarene (July 13, 2016). "How Netflix's Stranger Things Channels Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Hutchinson, Sean (July 19, 2016). "Every '80s Pop Culture References in Stranger Things". Inverse. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ Stranger Things, retrieved 2016-09-04 
  12. ^ Allen, Gavin (2016-07-29). "11 (geddit?) reasons why we love Netflix new TV series Stranger Things". Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  13. ^ "Stranger Things: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ Stranger Things, retrieved February 13, 2018 
  15. ^ "Netflix, 'Stranger Things' Creators Respond to Verbal Abuse Claim". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 

External linksEdit