Writer and Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski has announced that he has written a screenplay based on Harlan Ellison’s classic science-fiction short story “‘Repent, Harlequin,’ Said The Ticktockman.” As he stated on his Facebook fan page –
I have optioned, and adapted into screenplay form, Harlan Ellison’s “Repent Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman.” It’s out to producers, studios and directors now. We hope to find a direc…tor who has always wanted to make this story into a movie. More as, if and when it develops… I should mention that Harlan has never allowed anyone else before to option or adapt Harlequin for the screen, and the draft has his personal seal of approval.
Straczynski and Ellison have been long-time friends, with Ellison serving as creative consultant on Babylon 5.
Ellison’s story, written in a six hour stretch at a 1965 writer’s conference, tells the story of a dystopian future society where being late is illegal, and the proportional amount of time that is wasted by a person is deducted from their life.