Odysseus Lappas is suing the makers of the Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried film In Time, because they allegedly stole his idea. The Greek native is demanding $4.5million from 20th Century Fox and New Regency, according to papers which were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
For those who have never seen it, In Time is set in a futuristic world where humans stop ageing at 25 years old. In order to stay alive, people must buy, borrow and steal time from other people. The rich live, the poor die.
Lappas claims that the story he wrote and filed with the Writer’s Guild of America back in 1996, is “uncannily similar”.
The piece titled Time Card is, according to the legal case, “an action-adventure love story about a man and a woman who live in a future world wherein the human life span had changed and people would die after reaching their 25th birthday. Specifically, the Time Card synopsis outlines the main character as being broke and out of time, yet in love with a very rich woman who is virtually immortal.”
It certainly sounds extremely similar. Possibly too much so to be a coincidence. According to the file, Lappas had met with a representative from 20th Century Fox, who offered to buy the rights to the idea for $80,000. However, Lappas declined the offer because he hoped to write or produce the film if it ever came to fruition. Apparently there was an “implied-in-fact contract” though, which suggested he would be compensated if his synopsis was ever used.
As it stands, all credit was given to the screenwriter/director of In Time, Andrew Niccol. The film made $173million worldwide.
There has not been any comment from either Fox or New Regency on the subject.