Writer Odysseus Lappas sues over Justin Timberlake film ‘plagiarism’

Source: BBCNews

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In Time

In Time, released in 2011, starred both Justin Timberlake and Mamma Mia’s Amanda Seyfried

A Greek writer is suing the makers of Justin Timberlake’s sci-fi thriller In Time, saying they stole his idea.

Odysseus Lappas is demanding $4.5m (£2.8m) from 20th Century Fox and New Regency, according to papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In Time was set in a future world, where humans stop aging at 25, and must buy, borrow or steal time from other people – otherwise they die.

Lappas claims he wrote an “uncannily similar” synopsis in 1996.

His story, which was filed with the Writer’s Guild of America, was called Time Card.

Still image from In Time

In the film, the protagonists’ remaining time on earth counts down via a clock on their arm

According to his legal case, it was “an action-adventure love story about a man and a woman who live in a future world wherin 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,” the filing continues.

“The similarities are striking”.

Lappas said he met with a representative from 20th Century Fox, who offered to buy the rights to his idea for £80,000 (£49,733).

He refused, as he wanted to either write or produce any film arising from his story – but said the two parties entered into an “implied-in-fact contract”, suggesting he would be compensated if his synopsis was used.

In Time, released by Fox in 2011, made $173m (£107.5m) worldwide. It was credited to screenwriter/director Andrew Niccol, who previously penned the scripts for The Truman Show and Gattaca.

There has been no comment on the legal case by Fox or New Regency.

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