First, they took our TV shows and made them into movies. Then, they took our movies and made them into TV shows. What fresh horror will come next in the adaptation world? Radio, probably.
But we’re still in that second phase right now. Case in point: Steven Spielberg is crafting a TV show out of his 2002 film Minority Report. As reported by The Wrap, he will use Amblin Television to front the show, with Godzilla writer Max Borenstein handling script duties. The Wrap presumes (just like every other person who hears this news) that the series will focus around the PreCrime police force, a special group of cops that use mutants with visions of the future to predict crime and then preemptively de-crime it. Spielberg is likely to choose a big-name star for the lead, and 20th Century Fox (who distributed the movie) may or may not have dibs on distributing the series.
There is but one major issue with a Minority Report TV show: it’s already been done. Not in name, but in premise.
CBS is about to begin airing the fourth season of Person of Interest, wherein post-9/11 surveillance is now so far up the population’s collective butt that we can tell who’ll be committing heinous crimes in the immediate future (most likely from your YouTube comment history). So Jim Caviezel, super-agent extraordinaire, uses that pertinent info to stop crime in its infancy. Other than the time period change (modern-day instead of future-day), Person of Interest is Minority Report in all but the title.
Also the name has been done already, too. Comedy Central is currently prepping The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore to fill Stephen Colbert’s soon-to-be-vacated time-slot. That Minority Report will probably eschew the whole mutants-with-precognition thing and stick to sarcastic commentary on the state of minorities in the media. But we don’t know that for sure. Maybe Comedy Central has blessed Wilmore with future sight and is planning for him to host the show while submerged in a vat of blue liquid. He will gaze upon us and deliver cryptic race jokes that no one will understand until months later. Personally, I think that idea is a winner.
The Wrap claims Wilmore won’t dissuade Spielberg from titling his series The Minority Report, so now we must ask: what can Spielberg do to keep Minority Report fresh after it’s already been picked to the bone by other shows? Here’s an option: take it to a cable network flush with cash, then flush all that cash into a movie-quality sci-fi setting. Cable’s already given us big-budget fantasy (Game of Thrones) and big-budget horror (The Strain; American Horror Story; Penny Dreadful; The Walking Dead). No science fiction on that level, though.
Sure, there’s HBO’s Westwood, but we haven’t seen that one yet, and who knows if it’ll be that effects-heavy. Also Battlestar Galactica, but that one’s starting to show its age. We need a future-world Game of Thrones, and Minority Report might just be the thing to do it. Make it happen, Spielberg. Or do something, because everyone has already pulled apart Minority Report and claimed the chunks as their own.