Which predictions from sci-fi films of the past came true, and what did they get wrong? NAB Amplify has played this game before with Blade Runner, filmed in 1982 and set in 2019.
But what about films from the past set in the distant future of — 2022?
There are some, and we have NPR’s Jeevika Verma and Jessica Green to thank for rounding them up.
Their first choice is an all-time classic. Although it will probably seem awfully dated if watched now, it’s a wonder 1973’s Soylent Green hasn’t been optioned for remake. The revelation is all the more disturbing for the film’s blue-collar down at heel aesthetic. Made in the era of The Parallax View and paranoia surrounding big government, we’re arguably closer to the end of democracy now than we were then.
Based on a novel by Harry Harrison, and starring Charlton Heston as well as golden era actors Joseph Cotton and Edward G Robinson (ironically in his last role), Soylent Green is set in a polluted and overcrowded New York City with food and water in short supply. The oceans are dying. And one giant corporation is responsible for feeding the masses.
Ring any bells?
READ MORE: “Blade Runner” Tech Revisited: Honestly, Seems About Right (NAB Amplify)
The other films in their selection set in 2022 are more of the B-movie variety. Alien Intruder (1993) features Billy Dee Williams playing a captain leading his crew into space to retrieve a lost spaceship. Then a virtual reality alien becomes all too real.
In Time Runner, also from 1993, Mark Hamill is a military captain on Earth who travels back through a ‘wormhole’ to 1992 in a bid to stop aliens from invading the planet.
So far as we’re aware we haven’t been invaded by aliens yet but as NPR points out, the US government did confirm that unidentified flying objects have indeed been spotted — and it can’t explain what they are.
READ MORE: UFO Report: No Sign Of Aliens, But 143 Mystery Objects Defy Explanation (NPR)
Finally, there’s the Ray Liotta “classic” No Escape (1994)in which Liotta’s Marine is sentenced to life imprisonment on an island inhabited by savage and cannibalistic prisoners.
NPR notes that, last year, President Biden signed an executive order to phase out contracts with private prison operators, though it does not apply to immigrant detention centers.
Are there any more movies set in a futuristic 2022? Let us know.
In the meantime, we’ll have to wait until 2029 to learn if the cyborgs have taken over and are sending Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator back to kill John Connor in 1984 (if he already has and we didn’t notice — then we’re really in trouble) and a few decades more until 2054, when we find out if the country has a pre-crime police program as envisaged in Minority Report (2002).