One of the most influential and beloved short stories penned by the great Harlan Ellison is coming to the big screen, via Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski. But can a film do it justice?
The beautiful and complex story, "'Repent Harlequin!' Said The Ticktockman" is set in a dystopian future where time is a highly regulated. Being late is a serious crime. If you abuse your time the Ticktockman will find you, "turn you off," and you die. The short story itself starts in the middle and leaps from the beginning and end throughout the plot. It's really a wonderful bit of work that has been widely praised as an astounding work of science fiction. And now, Straczynski has acquired the rights to this story from Ellison.
Deadline is reporting that Straczynski wants to turn this story into a feature film. And even though these two creators have a history together, Ellison allegedly wouldn't hand over the rights until he saw a finished script from Straczynski. Which we're totally OK with. This is still very early in the development stages, but according to Deadline, Straczynski will approach Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro for a production partnership. Which, fingers crossed, they bite.
Image from Marvel's Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction (1975) by Alex Nino.