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What actually happens to John Anderton's son in 'Minority Report'? He disappears, yes, but is his body ever found and what was the PreCog going on about?

Question #20403. Asked by qwerty.
Last updated May 14 2021.

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zbeckabee star
Answer has 9 votes
zbeckabee star
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Answer has 9 votes.
In the movie, Anderton’s motive for joining the pre-crime forces was because his own son was abducted and presumably murdered some years before, an event that also shattered his marriage.

link http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jul2002/mino-j04.shtml


Response last updated by looney_tunes on Aug 24 2016.
Jul 17 2008, 7:23 AM
grimrip
Answer has 5 votes
grimrip

Answer has 5 votes.
Thanks for the reply zbeckabee but that is just narration from a movie critic. If I were to look for reference in the script on Sean's "murder" I would find Burgess' lines towards the end of the movie more convincing. He said to Lara, "I know how hard this all is for you, but you can at least find some comfort/closure in the fact that John finally found the man who killed your son." But then again, he was trying to frame John by setting him up with a man who supposedly had "killed" Sean. So we are back to square one.

And assuming that Sean was murdered, Agatha's vision of Sean growing up is merely an alternate future which will never happen. Which makes Agatha a sadist for telling John and Lara what good things they will never experience. Kinda like very useless and hurtful information if you ask me.

Response last updated by looney_tunes on Aug 24 2016.
Jul 17 2008, 9:09 PM
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zbeckabee star
Answer has 11 votes
zbeckabee star
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17 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 11 votes.
His son was kidnapped and murdered. In the absence of an actual murder scene -- I think the word "presume" works quite well...And one would like to think that a movie critic actually watched the movie. :)


After John Anderton lost his son to a crime a six years ago, he took up drugs, and works the precog division like nobody else.
link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/plotsummary

In the event anyone wants to wade through this -- Here's the script:
link http://imsdb.com/scripts/Minority-Report.html

Response last updated by looney_tunes on Aug 24 2016.
Jul 17 2008, 10:40 PM
grimrip
Answer has 6 votes
grimrip

Answer has 6 votes.
Sorry, still don't buy that. We all know that "the man (Crow) who kidnapped and murdered his son" is only a pretext to frame John. So there is still nothing definitive about Sean in everything to do with Crow.

"lost his son"? I hardly consider that as a conclusive statement that Sean is dead.

I have "wade" through most of the script and can't find anything conclusive. My task is made harder by the fact that the script version has been heavily altered from the book version. Call me crazy but what I'm trying to find out is the actual story running in the minds of the original writer, Philip K. Dick, or the script writers, Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. And if possible what were the latter two thinking of by putting in lines like:

"He's in high school. He likes to run. Like his father. He runs the two mile and the long relay. He's twenty-three, at a University. He makes love to a pretty girl named Claire. He asks her to be his wife. He calls here and tells Lara who cries... he still runs. Across the University. And in the stadium where John watches..."

Jul 18 2008, 12:43 AM
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zbeckabee star
Answer has 11 votes
zbeckabee star
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17 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 11 votes.
This is the best explanation I can find -- And it hints that even Philip Dick wasn't all that convinced of the outcome.

And I quote: "Dick's stories typically focus on the fragile nature of what is "real" and the construction of personal identity. His stories often become surreal fantasies as the main characters slowly discover that their everyday world is actually an illusion constructed by powerful external entities (such as in Ubik), vast political conspiracies, or simply from the vicissitudes of an unreliable narrator. "All of his work starts with the basic assumption that there cannot be one, single, objective reality," writes science fiction author Charles Platt. "Everything is a matter of perception. The ground is liable to shift under your feet. A protagonist may find himself living out another person's dream, or he may enter a drug-induced state that actually makes better sense than the real world, or he may cross into a different universe completely."

"The existence of three apparent minority reports suggests the possibility of three future time paths, all existing simultaneously, any of which an individual could choose to follow or be sent along following an enticement (as in Anderton's being told he was going to murder an unknown man). In this way, the time-paths overlap, and the future of one is able to affect the past of another. It is in this way that the story weaves a complicated web of crossing time paths and makes a linear journey for Anderton harder to identify. It is the theory of multiple-futures which allows the precogs of precrime to be of benefit, because if only one time-path existed, the predictions of the precogs would be worthless, since no possibility would exist of altering the future."

link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Minority_Report#Multiple_Time_Paths
link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_K._Dick

Jul 18 2008, 8:26 PM
grimrip
Answer has 5 votes
grimrip

Answer has 5 votes.
Wow, Philip would have loved the Matrix. OK, so Sean is dead, at least that's what I think Philip had in mind. Given that there are alternatives as predicted by the Precogs, Agatha's vision still makes no sense. Once a path is chosen, the alternative future ends and does not carry on from there. Otherwise the permutations for every choice made and the one not chosen would lead to an infinite number of "timelines" or alternative lives co-existing in our lifetime. The only explanation therefore is that the script writers got this part wrong. So Sean is still dead.

Thanks for all the answers and sorry if this has led to philosophy rather than movie trivias!

Jul 18 2008, 8:48 PM
bugattigrl
Answer has 29 votes
Currently Best Answer
bugattigrl

Answer has 29 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
I just watched the movie myself, and I was a bit confused as well as to what happened to his son. So I looked it up on Google to see if anyone may have an idea, and I found this: "I think we are supposed to assume that he is dead. But i think also the speech that that Pre-cog chik was giving was about the unborn son, how he'll grow up & go to college & stuff, i don't think she was talkin about Sean, cause she only sees the future, right?" So, maybe the Pre-cog was predicting their future child, the one his wife was pregnant with at the end of the movie. However, I do believe that Sean was kidnapped and probably murdered. I hope I was able to add a little insight!


Response last updated by Terry on May 14 2021.
Jan 24 2013, 10:02 PM
Tr3yoAces
Answer has 6 votes
Tr3yoAces

Answer has 6 votes.
Nothing wrong with a little philosophy every know and then. I feel the writers left this a mystery so viewers/readers would ponder their own conclusions. We know that The precog was describing to John an alternate reality of how Sean would have grown up had he not been kidnapped and most likely murdered. I think that Leo Crow's description of Sean's demise is the author's way of telling the audience that Sean was killed by his kidnapper. Even though it wasn't Leo Crow who committed the murder he took the bribe to take care of his family. I feel like the mystery of what happened to Sean is what drives the theme of the movie, the infinite nature of making decisions makes it impossible to truly predict the future and what will truly happen. Making precrime impossible.

Nov 19 2016, 8:04 AM
TigerSharkRWR
Answer has 19 votes
TigerSharkRWR

Answer has 19 votes.
The answer is not-at-all obvious, but it is there in the text.

Lamar Burgess either killed Sean or had him killed by one of his operatives. In a speech he gives to John Anderton, he explains that "no one would listen to a man of my generation," but that they would listen to John, as his motivation "comes from pain and not politics."

By killing John's son, he manufactures a crusader to pursue his (Lamar's) dream of pre-crime. This same bait-and-switch was performed on Anne Lively, setting up a neuroin addict for the crime while he commits the murder and secures his investment in the pre-cognitives by eliminating their mother.

This is also proven by the fact that "evidence" was manufactured and given to Leo Crow. By whom? Who would be knowledgeable and have enough resources to create photo forgeries of John's son, en masse, making the "orgy of evidence" found by Danny? Lamar had access to his son (as he'd kidnapped him), would have been known to Sean and been able to take photos without Sean being freaked out/scared, and had the tech in the crime labs to forge the photos and put Crowe's image in his place.

Nov 24 2016, 12:15 PM
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