Huey Lewis, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson on ‘Back to the Future’ Day (Getty)
To cap off Wednesday’s worldwide celebration of Back to the Future Day — commemorating 10/21/15, the exact date Marty McFly arrives in the future in Back to the Future II — several cast and crew members from the beloved trilogy reunited for a special screening of the film in New York City. The movie, a huge hit when it was released in 1989, is notable for the many futuristic circa-2015 technologies it promises —some of which wound up coming true (like video conferencing), but many of which remain sadly out of reach (we’re still waiting for our hoverboards). With that in mind, we decided to get the Back to the Future crew on record about their predictions about what the world will look like 30 years from now. Here’s what they think they’d see if they hopped in a DeLorean and blasted off to 2045.
Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly): I’m hoping that the machines still work for us, and it’s not us working for them. I also look forward to the advances in medicine, and I hope we figure out how to just stop killing each other. World peace [is what] I’m hoping for.
Technology-wise, I think that we’re going to find out more about the brain than we know now. In 30 years, hopefully, we’ll map parts of the brain that will do things for us that we can’t do for ourselves.
Bob Gale (co-writer and co-producer): One of my predictions about the future is that people will have a whole lot less stuff, which we already see: Uber, and the Citi Bike, and the fact that you don’t have to own CDs anymore; everything’s available to download. People are a lot more mobile and have a lot less stuff. [Thirty years from now], people will be a lot less attached to their possessions.
People will also have a lot less shame, as privacy seems to be going away, and what’s your defense mechanism if you don’t have any privacy? If you got drunk and you ran down the street naked and someone took pictures of you and posted it there, what are you going to do? You’re going to say, “All right, put them on every website! I don’t care!” And once people stop caring about that, they’ll be unable to be embarrassed.
I also think that medical technology will be a huge growth industry. Everybody is predicting a doctor shortage, which I think is very likely, but that will probably be offset by the idea that we’ll have something like Google MD. You’ll put your thumb on a pressure pad, it’ll prick your thumb, and you’ll give a little drop of blood. It’ll do a whole bio-analysis. It’ll compare your vital signs and your data to millions and millions of other folks, and you’ll get an instant diagnosis and it’ll be more accurate than what you can get for a regular checkup.
Lea Thompson (Lorraine): I just hope everyone’s wearing cotton. Who wants to wear polyester clothes? That’s what they always do, when they’re predicting the future, we’re all wearing white polyester. I don’t think so!
Donald Fullilove (Goldie Wilson): Instead of going to the theater to see a movie, you’re going to dial it up in your house and you’re going to have a holographic performance right there in front of you.
Huey Lewis (songwriter: “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time”): Thirty years from now, we’re going to be on the red carpet for the 60th anniversary of Back to the Future.