I just made up gadgets as I needed them. Hell, just invent a gadget! I loved doing the eye thing. We are all viscerally weirded out by eyeballs.
Minority Report – I Liked the Book Better
When I finished the first draft and handed it in to [then director Jan De Bont] and Fox studios, the reaction was instant and delightful. They were totally turned on. Their eyes lit right up, which rarely happens. Actually, it never happens. But I got lucky.
What can I say? The script went all the way to the top guy at Fox in a matter of days, and from there on in, they were definitely going to make this movie. It was just a matter of with which heavy-hitters. It was all about tightening and tinkering. Being rewritten is no fun, but thank god it was Scott. I had no real vision of my own—yet. But as the schedule for Mission: Impossible II started to, shall we say, elongate, I realized that I was going to have more—a lot more—time to work on the Minority Report script. Spielberg and Frank set about trying to determine what kind of film they wanted Minority Report to be.
Then it ends. So what to do? So now what? I was sunk. So I said to myself, if I were to write science fiction, if I were to tell a story with these elements, what would it be?
Frank peppered his early pages with enough dark elements to guarantee his rapid departure from the project. He believes in it because he lost his own son right out from under his nose once upon a time and now wants to punish the world.
By day he busts people without a care for their civil rights—all of which have been temporarily suspended—and by night he jogs into the inner city and buys inhalers full of an image-enhancing drug that enables him to better talk to his dead child via holographic home movies. Drugs, dead kids, impotent cops. Strike one. Strike two. I jammed it full of characters, each with their own story to tell no matter how brief a period of time they spent on screen.
In other words, lots and lots and lots of TALK. Strike three. I left the project when Steven went off to make A. When Steven came back on after A. He was constantly asking the right hard questions all the way through production. Most of the drafts right up until shooting were pages. One was pages. The trick was avoiding the trap of writing to support the concept instead of the characters.
The use of the gadgets would come later. Just tell the story. Give the characters real lives, desires, and so on. The science fiction part came later—a genre, by the way, which is normally cold and without much emotion, E. By making this story about loss, I thought we would mitigate that somewhat. While the characters are new, there are many story moves that come from Jon [Cohen]. I would not have written the movie the way I did without his script.
The whole eye thing for me became a way into the story, a theme I could develop further. In a world where we can see the future, we see what we want to see. In terms of John Anderton, the main character, this became crucial. That the other writers are challenging it, is so absurd and sad.
I sure hope the process works. Scott reworked much of the plot, characters —just tons of big, deep stuff. No other writer of his generation had such a powerful intellectual presence.
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He stamped himself not only on our memories but in our imaginations - Brian Aldiss. Dick was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in The World According to Anna. Wheels of Terror. The Abyssinian Proof. The Camel Bookmobile.
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