As I’ve written before, when I first saw the premise for this movie (back when it was still called Now), I had this idea, but they beat me to the punch. (Sorry for the terrible run-on sentence at the beginning.)
My idea, called Stopwatch, was that, as medical science advances, to the point of most probably being able to grow organs, humans could potentially live indefinitely, or at least for hundreds of years. If space travel never becomes a reality, then overpopulation would become an issue. Thus, minutes of life would become a commodity. You would be given an allotment of minutes at birth, along with a chip which stops your heart when you run out of time, and you have a watch or similar device that keeps track of your remaining time. Thus, time literally becomes the world’s most valuable commodity.
People who accomplish great humanitarian feats, as well as the extremely powerful and wealthy, would be awarded or sold ‘Infinity Passes,’ shutting their chip down entirely so they can live as long as they choose. However, the moderately wealthy will need to buy minutes from the down and out to keep living. Drug addicts, the cripplingly poor, people who can’t afford medical treatment for their kids… they could sell their own minutes to willing buyers.
You can leave minutes to relatives and friends, in the case you die in an accident or something, and obviously there will be hackers and activists of different stripes trying to steal from or bring down the system for various reasons. That’s the gist of the idea, with a bunch of other things that came to me mixed in.
Now the trailer is out. Yup, this is definitely my idea up in smoke.