Why Fox's 'Minority Report' Split the Role of Twins Dash and Arthur

Series creator Max Borenstein explains how the role was reconceived.
Courtesy of FOX

Fox's Minority Report is one of the many freshman shows this season to undergo a creative change after it was picked up to series.

The drama, a follow-up to the 2002 Steven Spielberg feature film, chronicles the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen.

The pilot was picked up with Stark Sands set to play both precog fraternal twins, Arthur and Dash, with Michael and Matthew Dickman having played the characters in the 2002 feature film. The series in June enlisted One Big Happy alum Nick Zano to take on the role of Arthur.

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"We had always envisioned the Arthur role as being one that was a little smaller," series creator Max Borenstein told THR after the show's panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "It was one that could be played by one actor, from a production standpoint. Then as we fleshed out who Arthur was and his differences from Dash and how much of a role we wanted him to play in the series going forward, it became clear from a creative standpoint that it made sense to have two very different kind of distinct actors playing those roles. And also from a production standpoint, one has eight to nine days to make an episode, and if one actor is playing two lead roles, you're in deep water."

The feature writer-producer, who is making his television debut with Minority Report, acknowledges that it seemed like a good idea at first to have Sands play both roles but that shifted when he realized the production commitment and that his show isn't Orphan Black. (Star Tatiana Maslany plays multiple clones on the BBC America drama.

Enlisting Zano, Borenstein said, was "not a huge shift" from the show that was originally pitched to Fox during development.

"When the role got bigger and I started to realize what we actually work with in terms of time for any given episode, it started to become very clear that as appealing as that Orphan Black model was in our imagination, that it made sense and from a creative standpoint — as we really began to dig in — it was less about retooling than it was about getting in the room and saying, 'Who is Arthur?' "

The original pilot — which has not been released to critics and is undergoing reshoots to incorporate Zano — only featured a little bit of the Arthur character at the end and is being retooled. He added, "We want our audience to know what that central dynamic is from an early point. We went back and very organically slotted him in." 

As for why star Sands' real-life fraternal brother wasn't cast to portray his on-screen fraternal twin, it's an easy answer: "He's not an actor!" Borenstein said with a laugh. 

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