LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In the original “Back to the Future” movie, Marty McFly and Doc Brown leave 1985 and travel 30 years back to 1955. In the sequel, they head three decades into the future to today – Oct. 21, 2015.
Some of the film’s predictions about the future have become a reality, while others – can you say self-lacing sneakers? – haven’t yet materialized.
RELATED: McFly, Doc Brown Reunite Ahead Of ‘Back To The Future’ Day
Screenwriter Bob Gale says he designed the film so that 2015 would appear recognizable.
“We knew going in, nobody ever successfully predicts the future accurately. It can’t be done. And we want the future to be a positive, optimistic future. We want people to see this movie and say, ‘Hey, I like that future. I’d like to live there,'” Gale said.
When McFly arrives to 2015, the sky is clogged with flying cars and kids ride hoverboards.
Technology hasn’t yet arrived at flying cars but we’ve made strides with self-driving cars.
Special effects artist John Bell designed many of the movie’s futuristic elements, including the hoverboard and the nostalgic “Cafe 80s” set.
“I’ll take something that’s 85 percent familiar – it could be a shape, it could be a color, it could be a pattern,” Bell said. “And then, if I’m projecting into the future, throw something that’s a 15-percent twist.”
Companies are still testing how to make a reliable, working hoverboard for the general public. On the real streets of 2015, toys like the Swagway – a device like a handless Segway – are the closest we’ve gotten to gliding around.
Gale said: “There are a lot of predictions that we made and we thought maybe that will come true, that has a good chance. Hoverboards – no, we never thought … and they say ‘Life imitates art.’ So, kids … saw ‘Back to the Future’ in the day and thought: If I can’t have it, I’m going to make one.”
In the movie, a “USA Today” branded drone captures a photo of Biff Tannen, played by Thomas F. Wilson, for the newspaper’s front page story.
Drones now “are all over the place,” Bell said. “We started out thinking this was kind of a gag technology, it was just a joke. But, little did we know, 30 years later people are using them all over the world.”
“We’re not thinking about, ‘We’re making an important statement about the future here.’ No, no, no, no. We’re having a good time,” Gale said about the technology developed for the film.
While people rarely use fax machines anymore for instant communication, the movie nails other everyday technology. In “Back to the Future Part II,” fingerprint scanners unlock the front door and pay for things like taxis.
Today, we use biometric technology to open doors, unlock smartphones and authorize digital payments.
The McFly family uses a giant flat-screen TV that responds to audio commands and makes video calls. Flat-screen TVs have been around for a while now. And Samsung Smart TV has voice recognition. As for video calls, people can use Facetime and Skype.
And now time for sports. “The Cubs win World Series against Miami?!” Marty McFly exclaims after seeing the news flash on a digital billboard. One hundred and seven years after its last title, the Chicago Cubs are still trying to advance to this year’s World Series. We have to wait just a little bit longer to see if the movie’s final prediction comes true.
“So why you think ‘Back to the Future’ remains so popular?” CBS News asked Gale.
“It’s the humanity of ‘Back to the Future,'” the screenwriter said. “And the movie says you have some control over your own destiny. The things you do today can have a life-changing effect in your future.”
The 30th anniversary DVD hits shelves Wednesday and the trilogy is being released in select theaters in Southern California and across the nation.