17 Sci-Fi Films That Totally Saw the Future Coming

Science fiction has always been a genre of imagination and speculation, often envisioning a world far beyond our current reality. Interestingly, many sci-fi films have eerily predicted technological advancements and scientific breakthroughs that later became reality. Here are 17 sci-fi films that proved to be remarkably prescient in foreseeing the future.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

These days, voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are part of our daily lives. However, they weren’t in 1979, when the technology was depicted in Star Trek. In the movie, we see Captain Kirk using a similar voice assistant to interact with the ship.

A Trip To The Moon (1902)

Photo Credit: Star Film Company.

The 1902 French film A Trip to the Moon is popularly regarded as the first-ever feature sci-fi movie. However, A Trip to the Moon was revolutionary not just for introducing its genre but also for its ideas for future technologies. The film depicted humans journeying to the moon in a rocket—an event that happened in the real world less than seven decades later.

Blade Runner (1982)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Blade Runner’s flying cars are yet to exist, but the film was right on the money with several other predictions. For instance, in the movie, we see huge digital billboards on skyscrapers. Such billboards can be found today in major cities around the world.

The Terminator (1984)

Photo Credit: Orion Pictures.

The Terminator’s plot relied on several futuristic and fantastical ideas, from time travel to cyborg killing machines. The film did feature one technology that’s ubiquitous today—drones. Many militaries now possess weaponized drones similar to those depicted in the movie.

The Truman Show (1998)

Jim Carrey – The Truman Show Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In this Peter Weir-directed film, Jim Carrey portrays Truman Burbank, a man who, without his knowledge, had been the star of a reality TV program throughout his life. While things in the entertainment industry might not be as cynical as suggested by the film’s plot, The Truman Show was definitely spot-on in its prediction of reality TV’s popularity.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix (1999) Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The Matrix centers around a simulated reality created by intelligent machines to trap humans as energy is generated from their body heat. Since the movie was released in 1999, the world has made a lot of progress with reality simulation with AR and VR technologies.

Soylent Green (1973)

Photo Credit: MGM.

Soylent Green is set in a world devastated by global warming. In this world, the earth’s depleted resources meant that wealth was concentrated among a few families while the masses suffered a shortage of food and water. Although not yet as bad as portrayed in the movie, the earth is presently experiencing the effects of climate change.

Demolition Man (1993)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Sylvester Stallone recently said that the writing of Demolition Man was way ahead of its time, and I cannot but agree with him. In the 1993 film, physical contact is banned due to a global disaster and people have to resort to virtual communication methods like video calls. That sounds like a concise narration of the COVID-19 pandemic to me.

Minority Report (2002)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The events in Minority Report take place in the year 2054, but we didn’t have to wait that long for many of the film’s future technology predictions. From touch screens to self-driving cars and targeted advertising, these technologies are already commonplace.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001_ A Space Odyssey (1968) MGM Studios
Photo Credit: MGM Studios.

This Stanley Kubrick masterpiece, though released in 1968, gives a surprisingly accurate portrayal of today’s AI technology. The movie featured HAL, an AI assistant programmed into the ship’s system, who interacts with the ship’s crew much in the same way we communicate with Siri.

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Back to the Future II Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

We haven’t seen any vehicle quite like the DeLorean, Back to the Future’s sci-fi car. However, the movie got it right with a host of other technology predictions, from non-military drones to increased use of biometrics.

Metropolis (1927)

Photo Credit: UFA.

Given that it premiered almost a century ago, Metropolis didn’t really have many hints to work with in conceiving future technologies. Nevertheless, director Fritz Lang mostly got it right with his imagination of colossal skyscrapers, robots, and video calling.

Tron (1982)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Tron foreshadowed virtual reality gaming and introduced the concept of digital avatars. Set inside a computer, the film envisioned a world where users could physically interact within the digital realm, anticipating the development of virtual reality technologies, which are now a reality in modern gaming and entertainment industries.

The Running Man (1987)

Photo Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

There are several valid criticisms against The Running Man as a movie. However, the Paul Michael Glaser-directed film got it right with its prediction of the modern obsession with reality TV. While reality TV stars don’t kill one another as portrayed in the movie, they sometimes do pretty extreme stuff to retain the attention of viewers.

Star Wars (1977)

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm.

While many technologies featured in Star Wars may never become a reality, the movie’s use of holographic technology has proven accurate. Famously used by Princess Leia in the movie, holographic technology in the real world has developed to the point that late celebs can now be projected as holograms at events.

Logan’s Run (1976)

Photo Credit: United Artists.

At the time the film was released in 1976, smart home technology was a long way from being invented. Logan’s Run’s conception of a home that can turn on the lights, play music, and do lots of other things on its owner’s commands is, however, not so far off from what we have today.

Total Recall (1990)

Photo Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

So, we may not be anywhere near Total Recall’s future of implanted memories, but the movie’s portrayal of self-driving cars is much closer to becoming our everyday reality. Many modern vehicles can already do some level of self-driving, and fully autonomous cars are also being developed.

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Waterworld Universal Pictures
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Star Wars – Anakin _ Padme Lucasfilm Productions
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Heat Warner Bros
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