Updated: Is Harlan Ellison's Star Trek suit aimed at J.J. Abrams' movie?

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

[Update 3: is calling it an old rumor recycled ... ]

[Update 2: reports that Ellison's lawsuit has to do with the uncompensated use of "City" elements in the 2006 Pocket Book "Crucible" trilogy of books, among other things, and not Abrams' film. Meanwhile, Ellison has been quoted on video saying he's been reassured that Abrams' film does not include the Guardian of Forever, but that was more than a year ago. Could it be he found out otherwise in the intervening months? Could it be he was lied to? Or could it be that the new reports are simply rehashing old rumors? Stay tuned ... ]

[Update: original Star Trek writer David Gerrold has posted on his thoughts on the Ellison lawsuit and the issues at stake. His comments are numbered 222, 225 and 287.]

About that lawsuit filed by SF author Harlan Ellison against Paramount over his Star Trek episode, "City on the Edge of Forever"?

Reports have surfaced that the lawsuit may have something to do with the rumored plot of J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek reboot movie, which (spoilers ahead!) may feature elements of that episode—specifically, the time-travel device called the Guardian of Forever.

Fans know that in "City on the Edge of Forever," Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) travel back in time through the mysterious alien portal to 1930s Earth to rescue Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and inadvertently upset the timeline by saving a woman named Edith Keeler (Joan Collins).

When Abrams' film was coming together, various rumors circulated that the plot would hinge on time travel, specifically dealing with the Guardian of Forever. Since then, there's been no confirmation that the device would figure in the story, though it is widely believed the story will deal with a Romulan villain, Nero (Eric Bana), who travels back in time to wipe out Kirk (Chris Pine) before he becomes captain of the Enterprise. None of this has been officially confirmed by Paramount.

In any case, Ellison—who has jealously guarded his rights to his creations over the years—has previously warned Paramount not to use any elements of "City on the Edge of Forever" that he takes credit for creating (which would include everything except the main Trek characters) without compensating him.

Abrams' Star Trek opens May 8.