Minority Report: Film vs. Short Story
Mutant humans, nicknamed precogs, have visions of future crimes. An entire police force is dedicated to interpreting these visions and catching the future criminals before they commit these foreseen crimes. Commissioner John A. Anderton was the creator of this institution called Precrime in New York City and has a strong pride in his work. Everything had seemed to be a success, there had not been a murder for five years, but it all starts to fall apart when the precogs have a vision of Anderton committing a murder of a man he has never met before, named Leopold Kaplan. The commissioner believes he has been set up by a young man, Ed Witwer, who will be taking Anderton’s place when he retires and also possibly his wife, Lisa. Anderton goes on somewhat of a quest to find out who is behind all of this. Through his quest he discovers that the strongest precog, which is the female named Donna, sometimes has different visions than the other two male precogs. These are called minority reports, and Anderton finds that he does not have one. He finally finds who is behind his setup, and it is Kaplan, a retired Army General and the man he is supposed to murder. Kaplan had a plan to bring down the Precrime system by keeping Anderton from killing him even though the precogs had envisioned that Anderton would kill Kaplan. In the end, Anderton does kill Kaplan to prove the system still works and Precrime continues (Dick, 1987).
This concept of Precrime was created in a short story entitled The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick. Fourty-six years after Dick wrote this story in 2002, Steven Spielberg directed the film Minority Report based on Dick’s story starring Tom Cruise. There are many differences between the storylines, characters, settings, etc.
In the film, the story takes place in Washington D.C. The precogs are not mutant humans, but are praised as wonderful beings. John Anderton was not the creator of Precrime, Director Lamar Burgess and Iris Hineman were the “mother and father” of Precrime. Anderton’s pride in Precrime came from a previous experience he had with the kidnapping of his only child. His wife, Laura (not Lisa), separated from him and lived near a beach away from Anderton and Precrime, but in Dick’s story they are married and she works at Precrime with John. Danny Witwer (not Ed) is an FBI investigator, not Anderton’s replacement, who enters the film to discover flaws in the Precrime system, specifically human flaws. The precogs vision of Anderton’s future murder depicts him killing a man he does not know, but the man is Leo Crow, not Leopold Kaplan. Anderton, in the film, still believes he is being set up and goes on a quest, which is drawn out more than in the short...