Wow, here’s some news about hard sci-fi on your television that has nothing to do with the Syfy channel, which feels rare these days as damn near every ambitious genre project seems to originate with them. We first heard last August that a version of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, which is of course based on a Philip K. Dick short story, is headed to our TV sets. After learning a few additional details since then, the series has now been given the green light by Fox.
Variety reports that the network has approved a formal order for a Minority Report pilot for the 2015-2016 development cycle. 20th Century Fox TV and Paramount TV are working on the project, and Max Borenstein (Godzilla) is handling the writing duties and will executive produce along with Daryl Frank and Justin Falvey from Amblin TV. Kevin Falls will serve as showrunner.
The 2002 film, which stars Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Max von Sydow, was big hit, raking in more than $350 million worldwide, and revolves around Cruise’s John Anderton, a futuristic cop who works in a special unit in Washington D.C. that uses three “precogs,” people with the ability to see the future, to stop crimes before they happen.
Set ten years after the film, the series is intended to be a direct sequel. The story follows one of the three precogs after PreCrime has been disbanded. He struggles to readjust to society and have something that resembles a normal life, which is not easy because he’s haunted by horrific visions of events that have not happened yet. After meeting a troubled detective, haunter by her own demons, he may find a use for his gift and a purpose for his life.
Back in September, Fox shelled out some major coin to get the rights, dashing hopes that this would land at one of the big cable networks. Given their substantial financial investment, as well as the name cache and the fact that movie-based TV shows are big right now with the likes of Fargo and 12 Monkeys, among others, it’s easy to assume that Minority Report will get a series order. Unless they totally screw things up that is.
Hopefully Borenstein comes up with better human characters than the ones slapped on the page for Godzilla, who were not particularly compelling or interesting in any way. And I think we can all agree that we’re crossing our fingers that this isn’t another time where Fox shows us one season that we fall in love with and then cancels our new favorite show, like they did with Firefly, Almost Human, and so many others.