One of television’s current favorite trends is spinning feature films into series, and shows like FX’s Fargo have proven how this concept can be a success. Time will tell for the roughly 3,000 other similar projects currently in development. One of those, a longform sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 2002 thriller Minority Report, has been in development over the past few weeks, and Fox is the network that beat all the others to drop a bunch of money into the project’s lap. Say goodbye to dreams of weighty cable fare everyone, if you ever even had them in the first place.
To specify things, Fox didn’t actually order Minority Report to series, but they shelled out major coin for a put-pilot commitment, which means they’re required to air the series’ pilot or pay a very stiff penalty should they break that contract. It’s basically saying they’re either definitely going to officially order it soon, or they’re perfectly comfortable with hemorrhaging money on a whim. We wouldn’t be surprised by either choice. We also wouldn’t be surprised if they change the name to Future Crime Unit and this becomes a procedural.
This version of Minority Report takes place in D.C. ten years after PreCrime has been put to a stop. One of the Precogs is trying to live life as a normal, non-Precoggy person, but is still plagued by prophetic visions. He meets a detective whose past also haunts her—yes, in this version the protagonist is a woman—and she helps him figure out how to put his gifts to good use. There’s no way the original film, or Philip K. Dick’s story, would work properly if they were merely stretched out to fit a weekly time slot, so this approach could be pretty awesome if it’s pulled off properly.
The pressure is on screenwriter Max Borenstein to bring this new string of events to life. You might recall he wrote this summer’s monster-fest Godzilla, though Gareth Edwards’ direction clearly overshadowed the thinly presented human roles. Borenstein was also one of the guys who tackled the script for Sergey Bodrov’s long-time-coming fantasy adventure Seventh Son, and he’s penning the return of King Kong in Skull Island. Here’s hoping he can make the shift to TV with as few MUTO disasters as possible.
The original film, one of many Tom Cruise hits in which he waves his arms around a lot, was produced by Dreamworks SKG and Twentieth Century Fox, the latter of which is behind this TV project, along with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Paramount Television. Amblin’s doing just fine in the sci-fi department with CBS’ Under the Dome and Extant, along with TNT’s Falling Skies. Paramount Television will soon be busy trotting out a Terminator series, as well as episodic versions of Ghost and The Truman Show. We may be able to relive all of the 1990s on our TVs over the next year or two.
Given Fox’s track record with keeping non-Reality TV shows alive, how long do you think Minority Report will stay on the air if it makes it to series?