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Esquire on Spielberg and Cruise's MINORITY REPORT

Hey folks, Harry here. Esquire here has recently had a peek at the inside of Spielberg’s latest project, MINORITY REPORT. He seems a bit unfamiliar with the story, that’s because he’s just seen pieces and hasn’t read the original source material or the script, but is reporting merely what he saw. He incorrectly assumes there is time travel in this film, there is not. The basic concept for those of you unfamiliar with Dick’s original story, it’s this... The future has no murder thanks to the psychic abilities of three siblings that are kept at a special facilitiy and nourished while they look into the future to guard against murder. If they say you will kill some one in the future, you are picked up, sentenced and executed before the ‘time’ of the crime. This way no murders are committed. This film deals with a man who is accused, that isn’t so easy to capture and kill. That man is played by Tom Cruise, and the man chasing him (I believe, or it could be the other way around) is Matt Damon. Now... On to what Esquire has seen...

Hi there Harry,

I recently came by some information on the upcoming Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise project and I wanted to fill you in. The working title of the film is currently "Minority Reports" and it is slated for a late June release, but that is no new news. The film is scheduled to start shooting in a few weeks, shortly after Cruise finishes with Mission Impossible: II. Nothing else I am about to say has been published on the Internet, to my knowledge, so some people might consider it spoiler material.

Fox’s internal documents are marketing the film as "futuristic, not sci-fi." Judging by the conceptual drawings I saw, it is difficult to tell the difference. The film is set c. 2080 on earth and the conceptual drawings indicate it will include a great deal of CGI. The cities in the drawings looked very much a hybrid of The Jetson’s and Phantom Menace’s Coruscant. City buildings were tall, round and chrome, and there were large clear tubes (perhaps roadways?) running all around the city. One small production detail: cars will have the ability to move frontward and backwards, like normal cars, but also very quickly from side to side. According to my source, it is safe to assume that there will be some action shots that make use of this ability. The futuristic setting surprised me; it is quite a departure from Spielberg’s last few projects. I tried to make copies of the conceptual drawings, but they were removed very quickly. Sorry.

Now to the good stuff: the plot. The story centers on Cruise being pursued by a group of people. Cruise’s character is baffled because he has no idea why anyone would want to harm him. It turns out the group is pursuing Cruise for killing someone in the future (evidently some kind of time travel is possible by 2080). By killing Cruise in the past, Cruise’s future killing will be prevented. It sounds kind of like the Terminator concept. Does Cruise murder the person in the future, or is it death by accident? I have no idea. Any other casting details? None. The significance of the title, Minority Reports? Absolutely clueless. However, at least we now know the general plot. I’m sure your sources will fill in the details for us in the months ahead.

Needless to say, the people at Fox are expecting this film to be HUGE. The script to this film is a VERY close kept secret. No one can get their hands on a script. It is being guarded a la The Phantom Menace. My source wouldn’t answer any questions about the film, and wouldn’t give out any more details. They simply outlined out the information described above, showed a few conceptual drawings, and left. I hope you find it interesting. I will let you know if I come by any other information.

my best,

Esquire

Readers Talkback
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  • July 14, 1999, 12:37 a.m. CST

    futurama for spielberg and cruise

    by spidahman

    i think it's about time that spielberg stepped outside the past and dealt with some cool sci-fi again. correct me if i'm wrong but i'd put close encounters as his last sci-fi outing. the man has a gift for the genre so here he should do it in spades. and having cruise along for the ride...well, i'm humming waiting for more on this. can these two men DO NO WRONG?

  • July 14, 1999, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Spielberg and SciFi

    by Palmer Eldritch

    I think "The Lost World", with it's huge numbers of genetically engineered dinosaurs, probably qualifies as science fiction.

  • July 14, 1999, 1:20 a.m. CST

    This could be great

    by Fairlane

    My only problem is that the story is kind of "not wiever friendly"- I mean it's not like it'e a strait story. Does anybody know what they have changed in the scribt compared to the novell. Cause there is no way in hell the general publick is gonna like the ending the story have in the book.

  • July 14, 1999, 2:30 a.m. CST

    It isn't that secret!

    by Chopper3

    I've got a copy here in front of me waiting for me after I finish "Coyote Ugly" and "X-Men". Surely you can get a copy Harry? If not, let me know. Hugs. PBM.

  • July 14, 1999, 4:28 a.m. CST

    About fucking time...

    by gg

    ...that we get some Dick films! And I

  • July 14, 1999, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Question

    by Mally

    Is this Total Recall 2? Just wondering because I thought thats what THAT was called...and I know Frakes is doing that. Can anyone clear my head on this? Or should I smoke more crack?

  • July 14, 1999, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Should be vintage Spielberg, Cruise

    by Mike D

    Is it confirmed that Matt Damon is in MINORITY REPORT? If he is, this change my entire opinion about the previously overrated actor. Playing the villian (I hope it's a villianous character he'll be playing) will be perfect for his annoying 'smugness'. Peering through the long-range looking-glass, along with GLADIATOR and THE X-MEN, Spielberg's latest appears to be sure-fire bet for 2000. The key will undoubtably be Scott Frank's adaptation of the story, but he's proven more than capable. Cruise, himself, is fantastic. One of the finest actors of our generation. A lot of people dislike him, but it would be a crime to doubt his talent. Spielberg is Spielberg, and I, myself, have been waiting to get into the futuristic/sci-fi genre for a long time (no, I do not consider CLOSE ENCOUNTERS that type of genre). I have just one think to ask of the producers of this film: DO NOT change the title. It's vintage material.

  • July 14, 1999, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Will the real Al Bester please come forward?

    by JonO

    Is it just me, or does the plot of Minority Report sound a good deal like the winner of the first Hugo Award, Alfred Bester's classic _The Demolished Man_??? For those who haven't read this fine piece of literature, it tells the story of a powerful man who wants to commit murder...in a future where the ESPers guild prevents crime by reading the crime in the person's head. Clearly MR isn't a total ripoff of Bester, I'm not going to be an a-hole about "everything is derived from something". But geez, if they're going to go so close, why not negotiate with the Bester estate and do an instant classic? --Jon "Holding Out for The Stars My Destination" O

  • July 14, 1999, 10:35 a.m. CST

    COPYCATS!!!!!

    by japhy

    Well okay, maybe not exactly, but it certainly sounds like a mix of Kafka's The Trial and the Running Man 9not the movie but the book). It'll all be mixed up in a nice and glossy Speilberg package but you can't go wrong with those influences. As long as there aren't any slow motion Matt Damon smile shots we should be okay.

  • July 14, 1999, 12:52 p.m. CST

    A minority report is...

    by Yossarian

    something I see from time to time. Say you have a panel of people, three for example, and 2 agree and 1 doesn't. The majority rules and their decision goes forth as the decision for the group, but the 1 that didn't agree with the decision can write a 'minority report' which contains any concerns he/she may have or the reason he/she disagrees. It kind of piggy-backs on the majority decision. Just another bit of probably useless info from my corner of the room, thanks.

  • July 14, 1999, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Alfred Bester is rolling in his grave...

    by dpc

    To the above poster who mentioned "The Trial" and "The Running Man." Before you get too incenced about any injustice done against these works (and who cares if a hack movie like TRM is "ripped off" anyway) take a look at the great SF writer Alfred Bester's "The Demolished Man" written in the '50s. (Walter Koenig's character in "Babylon 5" was named after Bester.) Kudos on the poster above who already cited the novel, although I don't agree that "Minority Report" is "clearly" not a rip-off. It certainly looks like one to me. Bester's book is one of the best SF novels ever written (and so are his short stories and, yes, "The Stars My Destination"). John Carpenter has talked about filming the latter for decades, but he ultimately deemed it unfilmable due to all the subjective, internal storytelling. It's more in the Gilliam arena. Supposedly, Walter Hill and David Giler have been in talks with Paul Anderson (I know-- wouldn't that be a letdown) about a screen adaptation for some time. Oliver Stone also had a script for "The Demolished Man" floating around at some point, too. The book tells the story of a murderer trying to commit the perfect crime and cover his tracks in a psychic culture. You want a great summer read? Go get this book from a used bookstore or a library (or even its recent reprint by Vintage Press) as quickly as possible and enjoy one of the most fast-paced and inventive novels ever written. I envy anyone who's reading it for the first time...

  • July 14, 1999, 3:42 p.m. CST

    TPM script security

    by Clavius

    If the script to Minority Report is closely guarded "a la Phantom Menace" then it should start circulating on the 'net in a few weeks, right?

  • Aug. 5, 1999, 3:51 p.m. CST

    PhilipKDick.com movie info and plot summary

    by Robinson

    There is a good source of information about the movie at http://www.philipkdick.com/hollywood/minority/minority.htm This website is devoted to all things related to PKD, and they seem to have a lot of good info on the movie as well as a good summary of the plot.

  • Aug. 11, 2006, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Cruise doing a Dick film. Go figure.

    by Wolfpack