The first thought that the John Anderton of the short-story has is “I’m getting bald. Bald and fat and old.” This isn’t exactly the image of Anderton we’re presented with in the film. Played by Tom Cruise, he is young, confident and active (with a full head of hair, may I add). The general idea of the story remains intact though, with his name emerging as a future murderer. In the short story, they are punched on a card rather than the more visually pleasing ball rolling down the chute and popping out at the bottom to be collected.
The victim’s name is Leopold Kaplan, a completely different character to the Leo Crow of the movie. He is the retired General of the Army of the Federated Westbloc Alliance. He wants to discredit Precrime and take away their authority, giving control back to the Army. The Army receives duplicate information about the Precrimes and so he is aware that he is a target as soon as Anderton discovers he is supposedly going to kill him.
The John Anderton of the short story finds out that ‘The existence of a majority logically implies a corresponding minority’. Learning that unanimity of all three precogs is a rarity, he goes back to read the minority report that could prove his innocence. But then, by proving his innocence, that would mean the destruction of the Precrime department he founded years ago. So he faces the same dilemma that Anderton does in the film and ultimately he makes a different choice.
Some notable additions in the film that are not from the original source material are the sub-plot concerning Anderton’s missing son, his kidnap of one of the precogs, his new eyes, his drug addiction and the numerous chases and evasions involving his old team members. For once I think these additions actually add something to the movie and do not seem out of place. The excitement, sympathy for the character and suspense they provide are what is needed from a modern sci-fi action thriller.