According to Back to the Future Part II, the Chicago Cubs will win the 2015 World Series, a feat the baseball club from the North Side of Chicago hasn't achieved in 107 years.
In all fairness, we’re still six months away from October 21, 2015—the point to which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels to in the hit 1989 sequel—but it’s safe to say that in addition to the Cubs not winning the world series, a number of the film’s other predictions won’t be happening anytime soon. For example, tech companies still seem to be far off from creating floating robot dog walkers, and the fashion industry isn’t currently marketing inside out jeans.
Back to the Future Part II may have gotten some predictions wrong, but it isn’t the only movie to do so. In fact, many other movies have shown us that predicting the future is not as easy as it seems.
The following nine films—all of which were set in 2015 or prior—made bold predictions, but have got it wrong…so far.
The 6th Day (2000)
Year depicted: 2015
Prediction: The XFL would still be around
The only other futuristic film to be set in 2015, The 6th Day, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, predicted that human cloning would now be commonplace and that the XFL would still be around. Fifteen years after the movie’s release, we’re closer to cloning adult humans than watching another XFL game.
According to the sci-fi flick, Vince McMahon’s ill-fated football venture, the XFL (Extreme Football League), would not only still be around, but thriving. Described by McMahon as a “colossal failure,” the XFL lasted just one season.
The movie co-stars Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), Michael Rappaport (Boston Public), and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead). It also marks the film debut of Terry Crews (The Expendables).
Alien Nation (1988)
Year depicted: 1991
Prediction: Aliens will arrive and coexist with humans
This sci-fi action movie predicted that 300,000 enslaved aliens (known as the Newcomers) would land on Earth and make Los Angeles their home in 1991. After a period of quarantine, the aliens assimilate and find jobs. One such Newcomer, played by Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) finds a job as a detective and is partnered with James Caan (The Godfather). The film also co-stars Terrence Stamp (The Limey).
A modest success in 1988, the movie developed a cult following and spawn a television series, five TV movies, and a comic book series. Just last month, 20th Century Fox announced plans to reboot the series.
Double Dragon (1994)
Year depicted: 2007
Prediction: An earthquake will destroy Los Angeles
Set in 2007 New Angeles (an earthquake destroyed the old one), Double Dragon centers on a pair of crime fighting brothers who attempt to keep a crime lord from obtaining a magical medallion.
One of the worst films based on a video game, Double Dragon stars Scott Wolf (Party of Five) and Mark Dacascos (Iron Chef America) as Billy and Jimmy Lee, and co-stars Alyssa Milano (Charmed) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
Year depicted: 2004
Prediction: Time travel is possible and used to fight crime
One of the most ambitious movies on our list, Timecop predicted that in just 10 years time travel would be perfected. In addition to becoming mainstream, the Jean-Claude Van Damme film posited that time travel would be used to fight crime.
In the film, cop Max Walker (Van Damme) travels back in time to save his wife (Mia Sara of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) from being killed. Van Damme’s highest grossing film as lead actor, Timecop also stars the late Ron Silver. The movie spawned a Van Damme-less sequel, Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision, which took place in 2024.
Bicentennial Man (1999)
Year depicted: 2005
Prediction: Humans will have robots, capable of human emotions, cleaning their homes
Simultaneously the most heartwarming and creepiest movie on our list, Bicentennial Man anticipated that we would all have on our own robot butlers by the year 2005. The film’s robot, which looks like a metallic Robin Williams, has the ability to cook, clean, and mow the grass.
Excluding the creepy aesthetic of the robot, the movie is touching in the fact that Williams’ character gradually develops emotions and also has to deal with the fact that he is immortal, while the ones he loves are not. The sci-fi film was based on a short story and a novel written by Isaac Asimov (I, Robot).
Strange Days (1995)
Year depicted: 1999
Prediction: There will be a black market for people’s recorded memories
Helmed by Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and co-written by her former husband and fellow Oscar winner James Cameron (Avatar), Strange Days is set in 1999 Los Angeles, which has devolved into a dangerous battleground.
Strange Days foresaw a future in which your memory can be recorded by using a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device), which allows anyone that gets ahold of the device to experience the memory that was recorded—thus creating an illegal black market of memory discs.
This cult classic stars Angela Basset (American Horror Story), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Juliette Lewis (Secrets and Lies).
Year depicted: 2000
Prediction: Self-repairing robot will wreak havoc on humans
Based on the 2000 AD comics and influenced by the works of Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?),Hardware centers on a self-repairing robot that is hell-bent on destruction. Aside from self-repairing robots, the film predicted that earth would be a radioactive wasteland by the year 2000, thanks to a nuclear war.
Richard Stanley, who holds the dubious distinction of being fired from 1996’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, directed the film. It stars Dylan McDermott (The Stalker), John Lynch (The Fall), as well as musicians Iggy Pop and Lemmy from Motorhead.
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Year depicted: 2000
Prediction: A cross continental murderous road race will be a popular televised event
While Hardware predicted that robots would be killing humans in the year 2000, Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000 foresaw a future that involved humans killing each other for sport in a transcontinental road race.
Set in an authoritarian dystopia, filmmakers predicted that the United States’ two-party political system would collapse into a single Bipartisan Party and the U.S. would become the United Provinces of America.
The film stars David Carradine (Kill Bill) and a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone as villain "Machine-Gun" Joe Viterbo.
Project Moonbase (1953)
Year depicted: 1970
Prediction: We’ll be living on the moon
Based on a story by renowned science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, Project Moonbase predicted that in just 17 years after the film’s release, humans would be residing on moon bases. The movie also predicted a woman to be President of the United States by 1970.
Shot in just 10 days, this B movie was featured on the first season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Escape from New York (1981)
Year depicted: 1997
Prediction: The Island of Manhattan will be turned into a prison
According to this sci-fi classic, the U.S. crime rate increased by 400% following a natural disaster in 1988, which forced the government to evacuate Manhattan and turn it into a maximum security prison. Additionally, a third world war has occurred. By 1997, however, stability has somewhat increased, thanks to peace negotiations amongst the different countries.
Written, scored, and directed by John Carpenter (Halloween), the film stars Kurt Russell in the iconic role of former soldier Snake Pliskin and co-stars Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch), and Donald Pleasence (Halloween).
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