Hugo award-winning sci fi author and dude you don’t want angry at you Harlan Ellison once sued James Cameron (and won) over similarities between The Terminator and two Outer Limits episodes Ellison wrote. Now he’s suing Regency, director Andrew Niccol, and various John Does over In Time, that movie where Olivia Wilde is the ultimate MILF. Oh, and I guess it has something to do with sci fi:
Ellison says the new film is based on his multiple prize-winning 1965 work, “Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman” which the complaint calls one of the most famous and widely published science fiction short stories of all time.
Both works are said to take place in a “dystopian corporate future in which everyone is allotted a specific amount of time to live.” In both works, government authorities known as a “Timekeeper” track the precise amount of time each citizen has left.
The complaint goes on to list similarities in the features of the universe as well as the plot surfaces — the manipulation of time an individual can live, the type of death experienced by those whose time runs out, rebellion by story protagonists, and so forth.
Ellison restricts his charges to basic descriptions here, eschewing a comparison of dialogue, for example. It’s hard to get a read whether he’s seen the new film, but since copyright law protects expression and not ideas, he could face a hurdle in proving illegal misappropriation unless the complaint is further amended. [THR]
Ellison is currently shopping around a screenplay adaptation of his “Repent, Harlequin!”, so it’s definitely in his best interest to fight Fox on this. Also, we’re talking about a guy who “won’t take a p*ss unless I’m being paid for it.” You guys better pay the man: