No one can know what the future holds, but writers and filmmakers are constantly taking their best guess, trying to predict technology and world affairs decades ahead of time – or showing a future they only WISH would come true. Now that October 21, 2015 – the Back to the Future date that blew Marty McFly’s mind – has finally arrived, it’s time to see just how much the movie got right. But it’s not the only film that turned out be a lot more accurate than the filmmakers probably ever expected (even if we’re still waiting on hover boards).
Here are Screenrant’s 10 Movies That Actually Predicted The Future.
Back to the Future Part 2
The version of October 2015 that Marty McFly visited in this time travelling sequel isn’t anywhere near as advanced as our own, but some of the future tech promised in the movie was right on the money. The ability to watch multiple channels at once on a wall-mounted TV is taken for granted now, and even getting to video chat with coworkers on the comfort of your home instead of using a phone was made possible through teleconferencing programs like Skype, or Face time. Although virtual reality headsets or Google Glass haven’t revolutionized society just yet, the idea of playing video games without using your hands really is possible. Who knows, the average teenager really could be wearing Marty Jr.’s goggles before long.
Steven Spielberg consulted real tech experts when crafting the future seen in Minority Report, from self-driving cars to targeted advertising. But no gadget turned more heads than the gesture-based computing and user interface seen in Precrime headquarters. It’s crazy to think that touchscreens completely replacing standard interfaces was deemed science fiction, but audiences and inventors clearly liked what they saw.
It’s hard to imagine that in less than a century, people could be living and working on the planet Mars, but not every idea in Total Recall is so far-fetched. When the movie was released in 1990, nothing was more of a fantasy than a car that would take its driver for a ride by simply stating their destination. But enough research and technology has been put into self-driving cars by Google alone to convince experts that they really are the future. They may not include the robot driver of the movie’s Johnny Cab, but the idea was ahead of its time.
Star Trek Series
No science fiction series is credited with predicting more future breakthroughs than Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, even if plenty of them are still years away from being realized. But when modern audiences watch the show’s cast doing research, scanning, or communicating with a device in the palm of their hand, they aren’t amazed. Modern smartphones are basically the same (even if the styles aren’t). The tricorders, and communicators may be old news today, but at a time when computers took up entire rooms, Star Trek‘s version was just a pipe dream.
2001: A Space Odyssey
It’s no secret that Stanley Kubrick’s astronaut epic 2001 became one of the most influential in not just science fiction, but filmmaking as a whole. The movie was such a landmark, it’s hard to know if Kubrick’s vision of space travel predicted the future, or technology just tried to recreate the movie’s style. But the star of the movie, just like the novel, was the murderous A.I., HAL. An artificial computer program that takes orders and reacts like a human – voice and all – was total fiction at the time. But when Siri brought exactly that to millions of iPhones, mods and apps that gave HAL’s voice to the feature weren’t far behind.
Seeing Los Angeles packed shoulder to shoulder, struggling with pollution and crime isn’t too hard to believe, but moving digital billboards big enough to cover the sides of entire buildings? That was entirely alien when Blade Runner hit theatres. But extreme advertising has already forced several cities to outlaw the size and brightness of billboards, including video screens. It’s not as extreme just yet, but if companies have their way, seeing a building-sized Coke ad or a Geisha eating candy may not be too far away.
Author Michael Crichton’s story of re-engineered dinosaurs was inspired by actual research into DNA preserved in petrified mosquitoes, but when Jurassic Park was movie released, experts lined up to call it a fantasy, since no dinosaur DNA or blood could survive to modern times (so even combining it with modern creatures was impossible). But the theory was sound: in 2015, scientists at Harvard University inserted wooly mammoth DNA into that of an Asian elephant with success. Like the movie’s dinosaurs, the resulting genetic being wouldn’t be an exact clone, but returning mammoths from extinction could be the first step to making a dinosaur park a reality.
The Cable Guy
Ben Stiller’s tale of an obsessed Cable Guy wasn’t a hit when it released in 1996, but Jim Carrey’s crazed character turned out to be downright prophetic. At the time, merging TV, phones, and video games using the Internet or satellites sounded like the ramblings of a madman. But listen to it these days, and it’s hard to believe how well Carrey guessed the Internet would change the world – for couch potatoes in particular: “The future is now! Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone and computer. You’ll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, or watch female wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam. There’s no end to the possibilities!”
Enemy of The State
Not every leap forward in technology is a good one, and these days, the idea that “big brother is watching” is more accurate than ever. One Will Smith movie predicted the rise of the surveillance state with chilling accuracy. A push for increased NSA clearance and satellite monitoring kicks Enemy of the State into action, and every government asset is used to track an American lawyer with damaging information. Audiences were wowed at the idea that government intelligence agencies could listen in on every phone call and hack into every camera in the country… they probably didn’t think that just a decade later, government officials would be testifying about the legality of those very same – and very real – programs.
When this cyber thriller was released in 1995, most people didn’t even know what an online identity meant – so the idea of someone “stealing your identity” using only computers seemed ridiculous. Today, almost anyone can find out how much trouble a hacked bank account, email, or stolen credit card number can really be. The movie may go overboard with evil software companies, but it’s not make believe anymore. And thankfully, computers really can be used to order a pizza these days, too.
So what do you think of our list? Do you know of any other movies that predicted futuristic gadgets or technology? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our channel for more videos like this one.