This film is loosely based on the short story "The Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick. There are some differences between the book and the movie:
1. The story is set in New York City, while the film uses the backdrop of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland and northern Virginia.
2. PreCrime is a government branch in the story and a police department in the movie.
3. In the story, John Anderton is a 50-year-old balding, out-of-shape police officer who created PreCrime, while in the movie Anderton is in his late 30s, handsome, small, athletic, with a full head of hair, who joined PreCrime after his son's kidnapping.
4. Anderton in the story is older than his wife Lisa, while Anderton in the movie is younger than his wife Lara, who by the time of the events in the movie had left him because he reminded her of her son.
5. The precogs were originally named Mike, Donna, and Jerry, and were deformed and mentally impaired. In the film, they are called Agatha, Dashiell and Arthur after crime-story writers Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and Arthur Conan Doyle. They are children of drug addicts, thier mutations made them to dream of future murders, which are captured by machines. They are "deified" by the PreCrime officers, and are implied to be intelligent (Agatha guides Anderton successfully through a crowded mall while being pursued by PreCrime, and the trio are seen reading large piles of books at the end of the film). In the end of the movie they retire to a rural cottage where they continue their lives in freedom and peace.
6. In the short story, Anderton's future victim is General Leopold Kaplan, who wants to discredit PreCrime in order to get more financing for the military. At the end of the story, Anderton kills him to prevent the destruction of PreCrime. In the movie, Anderton is supposed to kill someone named Leo Crow, but later finds out Crow is just a part of a set-up to prevent Anderton from discovering a different murder committed years ago by his superior, Lamar Burgess. At the end of the film, Anderton confronts Burgess, who commits suicide and sends PreCrime into oblivion.
7. In the short story, Anderton seeks the precogs to hear their "minority reports". In the movie, Anderton kidnaps a female precog in order to discover her own "minority report" and extract the information about a mysterious crime.
8. The short story ends with Anderton and Lisa moving to a space colony after Kaplan's murder. The movie finishes with the couple reunited after the conspiracy's resolution, expecting their second child.