Acclaimed novelist Harlan Ellison has dropped his lawsuit against Andrew Niccol's sci-fi film In Time says THR
The copyright suit alleged that the pic borrows substantially from Ellison's prize-winning 1965 short story "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman and sought an injunction to prevent the film's October 28th release.
Ellison has had second thoughts and has decided to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice and according to a stipulation filed in court on Monday, the decision came after the plaintiff had a chance to see the film.
The film's story is set in a society where people engineered to stop ageing at 25-years-old and time has become the currency of the realm. The wealthy are practically immortal while the majority of the populous struggles to bank what extra time they can. The film sees a ghetto rebel (Justin Timberlake) wrongly accused of murder who is forced to go into hiding with a beautiful and rich hostage (Amanda Seyfried). They soon begin a steamy romance.
Both tales use the premise of a "dystopian corporate future in which everyone is allotted a specific amount of time to live". The writer claims the film also takes other concepts from the story such as 'Timekeeper' authority figures (Cillian Murphy's character in the film?) and the expiration of those whose time runs out.
The film garnered a low 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed just $35 million in the U.S. (doing better overseas, grossing about $70 million). Could those low returns be the reason behind the decision to nix the suit?
Harlan's lawsuits don't always yield much--Ellison who wrote the time travel episode for Star Trek called The City on the Edge of Forever--sued Paramount claiming that in the run up to Star Trek '09 they "exploited" City for merchandising and publishing purposes due to suggestions that Forever elements made it into the reboot As we now know that was not the case...
As part of the agreement to dismiss, Ellison has agreed that each party will pay its own attorney fees.