Dystopian In Time faces legal trouble

Enter the dystopian world of In Time. Featuring Justin Timberlake and Olivia Wilde, the film depicts a world in which aging has been cured, with the monetary economy replaced by “time-wealth,” so when a person in this world can no longer afford more time, they simply die.

The official synopsis is thus:

“When Will Salas is falsely accused of murder, he must figure out a way to bring down a system where time is money – literally – enabling the wealthy to live forever while the poor, like Will, have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through another day.”

Now, famous sci-fi author Harlan Ellison wants to stop the release of the film. A number of critics have seen early prints of the upcoming movie, with some critics comparing it to Ellison’s story Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.

Indeed, Richard Roeper even went so far as to claim the film “is based on a short story by the great Harlan Ellison.”

To futher complicate matters, Ellison insists he had just finished adapting the story for film himself, and was about to begin shopping the script around to various film studios, when he heard In Time reflected his story so closely.

In the suit filed last week, Ellison requests that the film be blocked from release, and that he be given compensation for damages which the production of this film will do to his chances of selling his own script.

This isn’t the first time Ellison has tried to get in the way of a film for this reason. When the original Terminator film was about to be released, he requested that it be blocked for the same reason, but the judge instead ordered the production company to put Ellison’s name in the credits as a contributor to the story.

If not delayed or canceled, In Time is slated for release from New Regency this October.