Movies set in the (near) future: has the future in film delivered?

As 2018 unfolds I’ve been asking myself how this year has been represented in past movies – namely SF movies and TV shows.

It seems that most of the time, script writer were wrong – luckily, since most alternative futures were devastatingly bad…

future in sf movies

Anyway, if you’re curious, like I am about movies set in the (near) future or just to see how they catched up with reality, check this Wikipedia list.

What about Back to the Future Part II (1989)? The well-known sequel starring Michael J. Fox (and his hoverboard) has some hidden surprises in 2015!

On October 26, 1985, Dr. Emmett Brown arrives in the DeLorean time machine and persuades Marty McFly and his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, to travel to the future with him, and help their future children. Biff Tannen witnesses their departure. They arrive on October 21, 2015, where Doc electronically knocks out Jennifer, and leaves her asleep in an alley, explaining that she should not have too much knowledge of future events. He has Marty pose as his own son and lookalike Marty Jr. to refuse an offer to participate in a robbery with Biff’s grandson Griff, thus saving both of Marty’s children from prison.

Arnold Schwarzenegger holds some of the very best SF movies positions, even with “The 6th day“, apparently set in 2015 (!).

At some point in the indeterminate near future, the cloning of animals and human organs has become routine. Cloning entire humans, however, is prohibited by what are known as “Sixth Day” laws.

You may find that “The Running Man” (1987, starring Scharzenegger) was set in 2017…

In 2017, after a worldwide economic collapse, the United States has become a totalitarian police state, censoring all cultural activity. The U.S. government pacifies the populace by broadcasting game shows where convicted criminals fight for their lives, including the gladiator-style The Running Man, hosted by the ruthless Damon Killian, where “runners” attempt to evade “stalkers”, armed mercenaries, around a large arena, and near-certain death for a chance to be pardoned by the state.

Akira (Japan, 1988) too has something interesting about history setting:

Set in a dystopian, cyberpunk-themed 2019, Akira tells the story of Shōtarō Kaneda, a leader of a local biker gang whose childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, acquires incredible telekinetic abilities after a motorcycle accident, eventually threatening an entire military complex amidst chaos and rebellion in the sprawling futuristic metropolis of Neo-Tokyo.

My advice?
One of my all-time favorite is Things to come (1936), directed by William Cameron Menzies which depicts a 2000-or-so future that is worth watching.
It is based on H.G. Wells novel and, being just three years before WWII, was astonishingly accurate – and foreseeing.

What about Johnny Mnemonic (1995)? Keanu Reeves plays a human-USB-drive with 80-Gigabytes storage capacity (in a futuristic and gloomy 2021)!
Sorry Keanu: by today’s standard, it’s less than an iPhone 7 and, by 2021-standards, only 80-Terabytes of memory will be considered cool 🙂

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