A previous version of this story first appeared in TheWrap Magazine Fall TV issue
Steven Spielberg‘s sci fi film “Minority Report” was both a critical and box office success when it debuted in 2002. That success has proven to be both a benefit and a challenge to those adapting the film into a fall series for Fox.
“The challenge is really to live up to the expectations of people that are fans of the film, and there are many of them,” series star Stark Sands told TheWrap. “And in much less time and with a smaller budget, we have to recreate that sense of a future world.”
While meeting those expectations can feel daunting, executive producer Max Borenstein believes that building off of the world created by Spielberg is a major advantage for the show. “He created a world that was so rich and invested so much time and energy in that world,” said Borenstein, who wrote the 2014 reboot of “Godzilla.” “People remember ‘Minority Report’s’ futuristic world more than they do other science fiction films.”
And although he was a fan of the original film, Borenstein admits he wasn’t sure how was going to make the show work when it was first offered to him. “When I was asked if I had a take on adapting ‘Minority Report’ to television I said ‘Yes’ without actually having a take,” he said.
The film told the story of a police officer (Tom Cruise) who was in charge of the elite Pre-Crime task force that used three psychics called Pre-Cogs to find murderers before they killed. But when the Pre-Cogs predict Cruise’s character will commit murder, he begins to grapple with the ethics of arresting people before they have committed a crime.
Borenstein and company decided to take the series in a different direction. Their show is set 10 years after the events of the film when Pre-Crime has been abolished. Former Pre-Cog Dash (Sands) decides he cannot hide from the world and must use his ability for good. He teams up with no-nonsense Det. Lara Vega (Meagan Good) to solve murders in Washington D.C.
Since Good’s character was not in the film, she relied on her father and stepmother, both LAPD veterans, to give her character depth. “I asked, ‘What would make you want to get into that kind of work? What made you want to hang in there when you saw the horrible things that you saw every day that most people would be so haunted to see?’ she said.
Good also said that the extensive use of special effects in the series proved to be both difficult and enjoyable. “It can be challenging in the sense of it’s something you’re interacting with and it’s not there,” she said. “But it’s fun because the sky is really the limit. Anything is possible in 2065.”
Sands echoed her sentiment, adding that the effects make watching the show a new experience for him even though he stars in it. “I get to watch the show and there are so many new things that weren’t there when I was shooting it, so I’m able to watch it with kind of fresh eyes for the first time,” he said.
And despite the glut of remakes and reboots that have been produced of late, Borenstein thinks television offers a unique opportunity for storytellers on such projects.
“Television is really different from reboots and remakes in features, because you’re talking about literally re-telling the same story in some cases,” he said. “In television, by the nature of the medium, you’re going to be telling a very different story. It’s a serialized story, so you’re looking for an interesting and exciting world.”