Time and time again movies have introduced us to a vision of the future that is sometimes better than ours, often worse, and almost always wrong. In fact, it seems the one thing many of the following “future movies” can agree on is that clearly everybody today is still pissed we’re not driving cars in mid-air yet.
Back to the Future II (Year Predicted: 2015)
What It Got Wrong: Hoverboard/hovercars/hoversigns; Auto-lacing sneakers/auto-fitting clothes; Scrolling LED Nametag hats; Wearing two ties at once; “Jaws 19”; Movie would be as beloved as the original “Back to the Future”
What It Actually Got Right: Flatscreen, wall-mounted TVs; Body-controlled video games; Video conferencing; Florida would get a baseball team; Everyone still wants a hoverboard (though everyone knew Mattel would botch the real thing).
Blade Runner (Year Predicted: 2019)
What It Got Wrong: Rather emotional androids; Hovercars (again); Eye-scanning lie detector; Early 21st century will resemble “The Jetsons” if the sun had been blotted out and Rosie the Robot routinely killed people
What It Actually Got Right: Giant electronic billboards projected on the sides of skyscrapers; Skype; Weather has been severely altered; Coca-Cola is still around; L.A. is unlivable
Terminator Movies (Year Predicted: 1997ish)
What It Got Wrong: Global defense computer network becomes self-aware and initiates nuclear holocaust to destroy humanity in 1997…or 2004…or 2011, depending on which movie or TV series you watch.
What It Actually Got Right: The years 1997, 2004, and 2011 all occurred
Escape from New York (Year Predicted: 1997)
What It Got Wrong: Manhattan is a giant maximum-security prison, devoid of any living things except the worst people imaginable
What It Actually Got Right: Depends almost entirely on your view of New York City
Timecop (Year Predicted: 2004)
What It Got Wrong: Time travel is possible; Self-driving, voice-activated cars are commonplace; Jean-Claude Van Damme is still relevant in the 21st century
What It Actually Got Right: People will wear clothes, have jobs, and exchange dialogue with one another in 2004
Demolition Man (Year Predicted: 2032)
What It Got Wrong: There is almost no crime; Taco Bell is a five-star restaurant, complete with long waiting list, valet parking, dance floor, and probably working toilets; Los Angeles and San Diego merged to create San Angeles, probably resulting in a baseball team that sounds like a video racing game through a monastery called “Padre Dodgers”
What It Actually Got Right: The movie still has 19 years to go but some Taco Bell chains recently tested positive for horsemeat, thereby ensuring Chili’s will be the future home of diplomat dinners and debutant balls
2001: A Space Odyssey (Year Predicted: Guess)
What It Got Wrong: Commercial space travel is routine; Colony on the moon; Contact with alien intelligence; Self-aware, self-serving computers who blame everything on “human error”; Pan Am is still in business
What It Actually Got Right: Computer tablets (although a few years early); in-flight personal TV screens on backs of chairs (right on time); The Dawn of Man (although admittedly that one was pretty well-known by then)
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