Can Steven Spielberg Replicate ‘Minority Report’ Success on TV?
Minority Report is officially the latest movie to get a television adaptation. Though it was previously rumored that Tom Cruise’s 2002 sci-fi thriller (also an adaptation of a 1956 short story of the same name) would be getting reworked for the small screen, it’s just been announced that the project has landed a home on Fox.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the drama landed a put-pilot deal with the network, which greatly increases the show’s odds of getting picked up by requiring a “significant penalty” should the episode not air. Steven Spielberg, who directed the original film, is developing the series, with Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein on board to pen the script. He is also set to executive produce alongside Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
With the deal comes a whole new slew of specific details surrounding the show’s plot line. The original film starred Cruise as the head of the police unit Precrime, which arrests criminals based on “foreknowledge” gained by psychic types known as Precogs.
Per THR, the Minority Report TV series will act as a sort of sequel to the movie, taking place 10 years after the events of the initial film in Washington, D.C. It follows one of the three previously featured Precogs still getting haunted by visions of the future and struggling to lead a normal human life. That’s when he meets a female detective who is having some problems of her own forgetting her past, and who “helps him find a purpose to his gift.”
The decision to introduce a new female lead is significant — if not entirely surprising — and very indicative of a recent push to feature more diverse pairings on television. Not to mention the male-female dynamic has proved successful on other recent series lately, such as the detective crime drama Elementary.
The new lead role obviously leads to the question of casting. Though no actors have been attached to the project just yet, The Hollywood Reporter maintains that Spielberg is determined to land another big name, as he did with Extant, which premiered earlier this summer and stars Halle Berry as an astronaut. Though Extant has received fairly decent reviews, its failed to garner smash ratings, instead chugging along at a relatively steady — if disappointing — pace. Meanwhile, Spielberg’s other project, Under the Dome, which he also executive produces, is also failing to impress lately, with viewers slamming the show’s overly drawn-out second season.
Perhaps he’ll have better luck with stronger source material, like Minority Report, which was a smash film at the time of its debut. Several other movie-to-TV adaptations have managed to fare pretty well recently, such as FX’s Fargo and NBC’s About a Boy. But with so many sci-fi shows to choose from and more on the way, it’s hard to tell whether viewers will be drawn to another similarly themed series (J.J. Abram’s futuristic police drama, Almost Human, was recently canceled by Fox after just one season). Of course, casting is often a huge factor, so we’ll have to wait to see who joins the project before predicting how it will pan out.
In the meantime, Spielberg has plenty of other projects on his hands. In addition to leading this latest adaptation, he’s also an executive producer on TNT’s Falling Skies, which was renewed for its fifth and final season earlier this season, as well as the upcoming Octavia Spencer vehicle Red Band Society. On the film front, he’s reportedly teaming up with Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake to develop a live-action Hansel & Gretel movie.