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The future may be unknowable, but Minority Report is all about working out what’s to come — not only in the sense of Stark Sands‘s precognitive Dash trying to prevent murders before they happen, but the program’s creators building the world of tomorrow.
“One of the first things we did was think about the world,” writer and producer Max Borenstein told the audience during the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel. “We created a world bible that was written by a consultant from the MiT media lab who interviewed experts in many technological fields and asked them, ‘Where’s the world going to be in 50 years?’ It’s the same thing that Steven did in the movie. We’ve assembled a whole vision of the world that, for the writers, is so excited to play with. How is it funny, how does it work? How does the technology not work, and how does that impact the characters?”
Borenstein talked about how the origin of the show came from a love of Steven Spielberg‘s 2002 movie. “I loved the film so much, and I remembered it vividly, but I was thinking about how you evolve it and not do the same thing,” he explained. “At the end of the movie, the Precog Division collapses and they’re sent into hiding. I remember watching and thinking, that’s the show, that’s what I want to watch, as they become people.”
“He doesn’t really get sarcasm, he doesn’t really get jokes,” Sands said when talking about playing Dash. “It’s fun to get to be the baby chick, and to grow and become human across the course of the series.”
Meagan Good, who plays Dash’s police department partner Vega, said that the innocence of the precog brings out something different in her hard-bitten character. “There is a tenderness there that people don’t get to see, and Dash brings that out of her,” she said. “Just him being himself breaks her shell, and they both want to protect each other, ultimately.”
One thing that the audience shouldn’t expect from Dash and Vega is a romance to blossom, said producer Kevin Falls. “We certainly don’t plan to do it. We didn’t want to turn it into a romantic two-hander, although if it turns out to happen down the line, that’s something else. There’s a great chemistry between the two characters, but it’s not romantic.”
That isn’t to say that there’s no romance — albeit thwarted romance — in the series; Wilmer Valderrama plays Blake, a cop who works beside Good’s character with whom she shares a spikey relationship. “There is a little bit of history there, and you’ll see it play out across the season,” he told the panel.
Sands isn’t the only precognitive to appear in the series, with Laura Regan playing Agatha (Samantha Morton‘s character in the original movie), and Nick Zano as Dash’s twin brother, Arthur. Arthur is absent from the show to begin with, but when he shows up, he’ll bring a very different energy to proceedings, with Borenstein saying that he’s a bad boy in comparison with Dash, and brings a “Sherlock Holmes” vibe with him.
Everyone on the panel talked about their excitement on working on a show with Spielberg, who is working with the production. “Forty-eight hours after he wrapped BFG, he was in a room with us breaking stories and suggesting props,” said producer Darryl Frank. “It’s the first movie he directed that’s been turned into a show, so he’s very involved.”
Minority Report debuts on Sept. 21 on Fox.
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