Back to the Future day is over; Marty McFly has left the future – and is safely ensconced, via 1885, in a 1980s nirvana where he remains untroubled by things like Google, iPhones and hipsters.
For the rest of us, mourning the horrible truth that we do not have hoverboards, flying cars or Holographic advertising (even though we were promised them by the movies), we’re already turning to the next sci -fi franchise to tell us what we should be looking for next.
Yes, like a cult on day one after our fully expected apocalypse did not happen (awkward), we’re already seeking our next Sci- Fi day, so we’ve tracked down a range of iconic films to pin our next hopes on, and the dates on which we will be absolutely sure that they were wrong.
In a world run by global corporations, sports has all but replaced war with mega teams sponsored by the biggest companies on the planet. James Caan plays a superstar rollerball player who has become too iconic and is being pushed out of the limelight to underline that individualism is pointless.
The film’s 40 years old, but pegged this corporate world to 2018 – the year in which Houston beats New York 1-0 with Caan’s Jonathan E. the sole scorer.
How likely is this? Corporate megabrands, check. Massive global sports teams, check. Sports stars going against their own interests to stand up to rampant commercialism? Depends if they get the image rights.
Date of disprovement: Jan January 2019
The Running Man (2018)
One of Arnold Schwarzenneger’s 1980s action hero films – based on a book by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachmann – the Running Man is a dystopian glimpse into a future where the US is a totalitarian police state and convicted criminals are hunted down and must fight for their lives in a reality television show.
The film predicts the complete collapse of democracy by 2017 – which is definitely worth noting in your diary – with Arnie’s Ben Richards fighting back for the little man in 2019.
How likely is this? The UK’s Channel 4 just aired a series where people were tracked down by professional trackers and governments around the world are swapping liberty for ostensive security.
Date of disprovement: Jan January 2018
Probably the greatest Manga film of all time, Akira sets its world in 2019 where Tesuo Shima is trying to free Akira. It’s another dystopian society (obviously) set in a cyberpunk-alike Tokyo where biker gangs roam the landscape and psychic powers are a thing.
We know that Tokyo has been destroyed on July 16, 1988, sparking a third world war and that the events take place 21 years afterwards, so technically this has not happened already.
How likely is this? Well Tokyo’s still there, the last time we checked, psychic powers are curiously yet to manifest and cyberpunk is definitely not embracing selfie sticks and Hello Kitty.
Date of disprovement: Jan January 2020 (or Jan January 1989).
Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles of 2019 is one of the most iconic movie landscapes – and a world in which replicants have been created to serve humanity. Harrison Ford’s rumples protaganist Deckard is tasked with tracking down four rogue replicants, but there’s more to the story …
How likely is this? We’re definitely taking great strides into a biomedical world where replicants are not beyond the bounds of imagination, but time is limited if we’re going to turn LA into a dystopian super-city.
Date of disprovement: Jan 1, 2020.
Children of Men (2028)
Based loosely on a book by PD James, Children of Men deals with a world in which mankind has become largely infertile. The tech shown is not that far removed from what we have right now – which is a nod to the stagnation of mankind.
How likely is this to happen? Well fertility is in decline in industrialized nations already, although we’ve not seen the impact that underpins the story – which started a couple of decades before the 2027 date the film is set.
Date of disprovement: Jan January 2028
12 Monkeys (2028)
A labyrinthine story of time travel and a deadly virus – the cynical might suggest that the failure to see mankind all but wiped out by a virus in 1996 already renders this film moot.
Starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt – who had just hit the A-List by the time of the film’s premiere, Terry Gilliam’s direction of a story based on French 60s short La Jetee remains a much-loved sci-fi movie.
How likely is this to happen? So Willis is from 2027 and travels back to the 90s but this is a time travel movie and therefore all of this could actually have happened and we simply do not know about it. So there.
Date of disprovement: None
Planet of the Apes (2030)
Tim Burton’s reimagined Apes universe called out 2029 as the year when Leo Davidson follows his favourite space-trained Ape into an electromagnetic storm into the future and finds a planet where simians are in charge.
How likely is it? Well using animals in space is obviously something we’ve done, and if you find just the right electromagnetic st … .okay, we’re parking this in the ‘unlikely’ category.
Date of disprovement: Jan 1 2030