Reel Toronto: Minority Report
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Reel Toronto: Minority Report

The Spielberg spin-off pilot makes our fine city look like a futuristic Washington, DC—or vice-versa.

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

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Just call us Reboot City. From Carrie to Total Recall to RoboCop, we just seem to be for Hollywood to indulge its ever increasing love of squeezing new money life out of new productions.

Such is the case with Minority Report, based on the Spielberg film of the same name, natch. They shot the pilot here before deciding they’d rather pitch their tent out in Vancouver for the duration but even in that brief first glimpse, there’s plenty of Toronto to see.

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As you no doubt know, the underlying premise of the thing is that there are these “precogs” who can see crimes before they happen, in a futuristic, CGI-rendered Washington D.C.

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Here we follow one such individual, Dash.

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The pilot kicks off with extensive sequences here…

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…at Yonge-Dundas Square.

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He’s trying to prevent someone from getting thrown out of the old Hermant Building

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…which even has an Ontario Heritage plaque.

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In what we’re guessing is something of a West Wing in-joke, the plaza appears to be named after America’s greatest president who never was, Nobel Prize winner Josiah Bartlet.

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Like any good urbanite, Dash enjoys taking public transit. This train station…

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…is pretty obviously the Brookfield Place atrium. (You’ll also note that a key part of the show’s aesthetic is the way old and new architecture blend together.)

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When he goes down to the train platform, however, he finds himself at Downsview Station. Apparently it’s all, like, futuristic.

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The train itself is obviously one of ours…

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…but from the near future, where Prime Minister Trudeau is letting our freak flag fly.

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As in RoboCop, we get a nice little action sequence…

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…in the Hearn Generating Station.

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More old-style architecture in this seniors home…

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…which appears to be Hart House.

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A little more U of T here…

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…as we find ourselves on the roof of Victoria University.

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A little more old-meets-new here, in the form of the walkway at the ol’ CityTV building.

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A couple of years ago we’d never have recognized this barn…

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…but it keeps turning up, in shows like Hannibal and Orphan Black. It’s the Schmidt-Dalziel barn near Black Creek Pioneer Village.

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It’s hard to tell for sure but this modern office building…

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…where schoolkids learn about the Precog program, looks like the RBC Centre.

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One of the coolest old-new locations, not just in the show but in our actual city is this atrium…

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…at the Telus Centre, between the old Royal Conservatory building and the new Koerner Hall.

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This shot, from the Port Lands, appears to be a CGI skyline…

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…but out of focus here is the real one.

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The finale involves an assassination attempt at a political rally…

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…and despite the preponderance of American flags…

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…it’s pretty obviously Nathan Phillips Square.

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There’s even a little bomb birdie that flies from the green roof…

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…by Old City Hall.

Maybe Minority Report will get cancelled soon, or maybe it will last 20 years. Either way, they probably won’t come back here. Well, hmph, that’s fine. Enjoy our sloppy seconds, Vancouver!