The year 2022, as predicted by old science fiction movies


One of the many repercussions of the global pandemic is that it has made planning for the future extremely difficult. Those tropical vacations you are booking for this summer? Who knows if you will be able to fly to this country at that time. That mid-January drink with friends? Better to hope that nothing changes beforehand.

However, in Before Times, science fiction was busy imagining what the world would be like, around 2022. How accurate was their best efforts? While we still have 12 full months for all prophecies to come true, as the new year begins, we can begin to assess the accuracy of five films set in the once distant world of 2022:

Soylent Green

Charlton Heston’s most famous sci-fi movie, set in a future dystopian version of Earth, dates from 1968 Planet of the Apes. Corn Soylent Green, released in 1973, is far darker – and, despite the slim chance of a simian takeover in 2022, more prescient. The film is set in a future (well, present) world in which overpopulation, climate catastrophe, and pollution mean ordinary people subsist on a diet of wafers made by the titular company Soylent.

The company’s latest product, called Soylent Green, is a nutritious food that’s supposed to be made from ocean plankton, but (spoiler alert) turns out to be made from human flesh. Take inspiration from the famous phrase: “Soylent Green is people! “

In real life: The backdrop to the climate crisis seems particularly money-driven, although things haven’t quite reached the stifling summer-long world the film portrays. The part about alternative and unusual foods certainly rings true, too, though – whether it’s seafood made with red algae (served, at least at one point, in the Alphabet cafeteria), from Lab Grown Meat, Insects Eating Calls, or the Un-Purgeable Burger.

Granted, none of these are in any way equivalent to cannibalism, but it’s also probably fair to say that you wouldn’t blink twice if you read that a startup Y Combinator was launching a new wafer product that promises to give you all the natural nutrients that you need from the body. Hell, there is already a food company called Soylent that is doing good business. An example of testimony quoted on its website: “I ate Soylent for 3 years. Here’s how it changed me.

The purge

2013 movie The purge was set for 2022, making it a much closer future at the time of filming than 2022 seemed when Soylent Green was shot. The 2022 of The purge The universe portrays the United States in which a totalitarian party has taken over and transformed it into a world almost crime-free with an unemployment rate of around 1%.

Oh, yeah, and if that sounds better than life today, that should be balanced out by the fact that they’ve also passed a law that makes any crime legal one night a year. So, you know, a mixed bag, really.

In real life: Crime has not been erased, and the pandemic has had a significant impact on employment: both unplanned (businesses struggling as a result of closures) and more planned (people quitting in large numbers to pursue jobs. other things.) Unemployment is certainly not. t at 1 percent, however.

It would be wrong to say that politics sometimes doesn’t have a hint of dystopia in real 2022. On the bright side, the political discourse is more about whether President Biden should continue pushing his social spending legislation. Build Back Better when faced with the challenges of whether making socially acceptable murder once a year is a good idea.

Yet scenes of people locked inside their homes while mask wearers roam largely empty streets could, frankly, be from either version of 2022.

Alien intruder

The 2022 represented in Alien intruder Much like a straight-on-video sci-fi movie made in 1993. The film is about four lifers who are sent on a deep space rescue mission led by Billy Dee Williams (or, at least, one character). played by him). Along the way, they are allowed to spend their time in virtual reality environments, living out assorted sexual fantasies. However, when a mysterious woman called Ariel first appears in virtual reality and then in reality, the crew begins to turn on each other.

Think of it as a mixture of Suicide Squad, Ex Machina, and [insert spaceship drama of your choice], but not as good as the billing suggests. They are also using very large laptops from a future in which the MacBook Air never existed. (Again, perhaps the use of 1990s laptops is one of the many ways future convicts are punished.)

In real life: Space waste is a real problem in 2022, just as it clearly was in 1993 when Alien intruder was done. Of course, in 2022, Space Trash literally describes the problem of putting trash from satellites and rockets into orbit, rather than just junky sci-fi movies.

As to whether Alien intruder accurately predicts the real 2022, the best you can say is that space travel and virtual reality continue to be areas that are explored. Prisoners are not, however, to our knowledge, sent on deep space missions.

If you were really daring, you could possibly argue that Alien intruderThe plot serves as an analogy for the world of fake news, in which concepts that spill over into the virtual world eventually pull us apart. Probably not enough for us to have to cast Nick Stone, the author of Alien intruder, like a modern day Nostradamus, however.

On a positive note, Billy Dee Williams remains on our screens in the real 2022.

Time runner

Speaking of Star Wars alumni, Mark Hamill’s 1993 included his own straight-video sci-fi thriller set partially in 2022. In Time runner, Hamill plays a soldier from the distant year 2022 who travels through time to save the world (“A New Kind of Terminator,” the movie trailer sings, on a distinctly sound scam theme, just in case you’d be wondering what movie franchise it was about).

To do this, he must stop a full alien invasion that begins with aliens masquerading as humans who look like normal humans. It’s a good way to save the budget from extraterrestrial effects if you can make it work!

In real life: We can’t really comment on the veracity of “Are the world’s ruling elite secretly a race of aliens?” ” conspiracy theory. But, if it is true, it is not as glaring as in this film.

There’s not much to say about the rest of 2022 depicted in Time runner, other than that, it looks like an economic version of some dystopian future imagined by James Cameron. And that ’90s hairstyles are, like other’ 90s nostalgia, probably back in vogue. I don’t know if this counts as a successful prediction.


Independence Day Writer and producer Dean Devlin made his directorial debut with this 2017 disaster movie about extreme weather events caused by weather control satellites set up to, uh, stop extreme weather events. Gerard Butler rushes in to try and stop a series of CGI hefty disasters from wiping out parts of the planet.

In real life: Seeing as Geostorm only released in 2017 (although it was filmed in 2014 and 2015), it is by far the most recent film on this list, meaning the shortest period between its filming and the year 2022 in which it takes place. For this reason, it’s no surprise that it has a 2022 that looks (at least pre-geo-storms) more like actual 2022 than some of the earlier more speculative entries on this list.

The scientific part of things is much more fragile. That said, climate engineering research has its basis in reality, as recent years have increasingly highlighted just how terrifying extreme weather events are. Unfortunately, in the real world, solutions will have to involve more than Gerard Butler’s shaved jaw.

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