Remember that lawsuit the award-winning author filed, claiming that writer-director Andrew Niccol and the producers of the Justin Timberlake dystopian sci-fi thriller ripped off his own story "Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman"? He won.
Okay, perhaps "won" is a bit of a stretch: Ellison agreed to settle in the case in return for screen credit that acknowledged the teeming similarities between In Time and "Repent, Harlequin," which include a society in which time replaced money as the currency, lawmen called "Timekeepers" who patrol theft and abuses of that time, and, in the lawsuit's words, "the manipulation of time an individual can live, the type of death experienced by those whose time runs out, rebellion by story protagonists."
Ellison had originally sued to prevent the scheduled release of the film, have all existing prints of the film destroyed, and receive a share of the box-office returns of any eventual release. The fact that In Time hit theaters on Oct. 28 as planned signified that Ellison wasn't going to be as triumphant as he might've wanted.
But there's no denying that the settlement—and the insertion of his name in the credits for the eventual video and streaming versions, much in the way Ellison's name is part of Terminator's credits—casts a shadow over both Niccol and In Time.