Comic Con 2011: ‘In Time’ is ‘Logan’s Run’ Meets ‘The Fugitive’ with a Touch of ‘Gattaca’

By  · Published on July 22nd, 2011

In Time was one of the films I was the most excited about covering at Comic-Con, and yet I had no bloody clue what it was about. I heard it involved some sci-fi aspect, a lot of running, and Amanda Seyfried sporting a short red ‘do.

That’s all I knew. See how well-researched I am?

Once I actually learned something about the film, there ended up being more to get excited about than just the fact it’s an Andrew Niccol film and one of the few original stories we’d be getting a glimpse at during Con. The high concept, which sounds a bit heavy-handed, is unique and looks well-handled in the three-minute sizzle reel Fox showed. And to be fair, the comparison to Gattaca carries that sound of potential non-subtlety, so I have faith Niccol will deliver a thought-provoking comment on “our desire to stay young forever” and “economic enslavement.”

The film is set in the late 21st century, and no specific date was given (could this happen so soon?!?), but it looked fairly grounded. There were no flying cars or silly futuristic clothing, thank God. So in this slightly heightened future, you don’t age past 25 years old. Once you get past 25, you have to pay for how much time you get to live for. So if you’re poor, you’re screwed. If you’re rich, then you could live until you’re 125 if you wanted to.

Now, think about all the problems that would cause. Any logical person should know the ramifications of what would happen if we lived in a world like that. Hopefully, Niccol will delve into those questions on some level. Fortunately, the three-minute sizzle reel mentioned the obvious problem of over-population, so he doesn’t seem to be glossing over the bigger issues.

Plus, the footage established the mechanics of the world and concept impressively well.

Here’s a quick rundown:

So in this extraordinarily horrific sounding world, who do we get to follow? Will Salas who is, as Timberlake explained, “an ordinary guy put in fantastical situations.” The actor, who talked a lot more about the film than Niccol during the press conference ‐ something Timberlake poked fun at ‐ described the film as being “intimate.”

And despite the heightened reality of the world Seyfried and Timberlake are acting in, when I approached Timberlake after the conference about the subject he stated that, “They’re very, very [grounded performances]. That was something that was really important to us. Andrew and I talked about that a lot.” As for the action, Timberlake described it as, “A different take on this type of genre, where the action sequences are very performance based. To be quite honest, we shot very real action. We didn’t do a lot and we don’t have a lot of effects.” The actor also noted that Will Salas is one of those street smart ordinary heroes, like John McClane.

Niccol doesn’t seem to have made a set-pieced clouted spectacle, but a chase film about a love story. Whether this will be hard sci-fi or not, In Time definitely looks like a lot of fun.

And the first trailer is attached to Cowboys & Aliens so everyone will get a chance to see it next week. I imagine it being a slightly shortened version of what was shown at Hall H, so you’ll get a good grasp on the world Niccol is creating.

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.