Forgotten Sci-Fi Flop Predicted the Future of $7 Billion Franchise

Forgotten Sci-Fi Flop Predicted the Future of $7 Billion Franchise
Image credit: Universal Pictures

Sometimes movies guess correctly.


  • Movies that take place 'in the future' usually end up getting their predictions way wrong.
  • But sometimes films manage to nail small and surprising events decades in advance.

Hollywood loves setting movies in the future. Of course, because most films aren't written, directed, or produced by physics, most of the time that vision of the future doesn't exactly get the details right.

Who Got It Wrong?

In Running Man (1987), which takes place from 2017 - 2019, the most popular television program is one where convicted felons are forced to fight to the death. We're past 2019 now, and culture hasn't degraded that far! Though we have Toddlers in Tiaras now, which is definitely a bad sign.

The end of the world would begin in 1997, according to Terminator. That's when the AI system Skynet becomes self-aware and begins its wholesale takedown of humanity. We might be getting closer to that day now – but hey, at least we got 30 more years than the movie said we would.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, humans had already perfected interstellar space travel, to the point where characters were using it for common commercial travel. That idea of the future still hasn't been achieved – though we do carry around tablets now, so that's a thing.

In Back to the Future: Part II Marty McFly traveled to the far-off time of 2015. Although the film was made in 1985, it was a bit silly of it to predict that there would be 19 Jaws movies, hoverboards everywhere, and self-drying clothing in the course of only 30 years.

And finally, Soylent Green (1973) made a bold prediction about the year 2022. This is a famous one, but if you don't want spoilers look away now… because in this Charlton Heston movie, overcrowding and a lack of food means the world survives by eating a processed substance called Soylent Green. Of course, it turns out that Soylent Green is people.

Who Could Have Predicted This?

On the other hand, there have been some weirdly accurate predictions from movies.

In 1988, Akira foretold that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be cancelled. When 2020 rolled around, the Olympics were indeed scheduled to be in Tokyo… and COVID meant that the event was indeed canceled (though it eventually went forward without an audience).

We've made fun of Back to the Future Part II, but that movie did actually nail one thing. In that movie, the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series in 2015, 107 years after their last win. In reality? The Cubs ended their drought in 2016, just one year after the movie said they would.

Minority Report foretold a world where people's phones listen to them, so that every individual can be bombarded with personalized advertisements.

And finally, one sci-fi flop actually predicted the future of a $7 billion franchise…

Repo Men Knew About Fast X

If you pay careful attention to 2010's Repo Men, you'll notice that in the background there are advertisements for the 10th installment of The Fast & The Furious franchise.

Forgotten Sci-Fi Flop Predicted the Future of $7 Billion Franchise - image 1

This was almost certainly meant to be a small joke, as there had only been three FF movies in existence while Repo Men was being filmed. Seven more movies? About a small-time gang of drag racers? Come on, how could you possibly get ten movies out of that?

Well, the joke was on Repo Men, because while most people have forgotten that sci-fi flick about agents who repossess rented organs, The Fast and The Furious have ELEVEN movies in a franchise that's still going strong. And while Repo Men takes place in 2025, Fast and Furious 10 came out two years ahead of schedule, in 2023.

It might be worth rewatching Repo Men to see what else they predicted…