So much can change in a year. In January 2022, Boris Johnson was Prime Minister, Elizabeth II our Queen, Jodie Whittaker the Doctor and Will Smith was a nice guy.
So it’s entirely possible 2023 will bring about changes we can’t even imagine yet. But what have the movies predicted for the year ahead?
This is what they’ve told us…
We’ll be learning to adapt to half the world’s population having disappeared
According to: Avengers: Endgame
With Avengers: Infinity War climaxing with the 2018 disappearance of half of all life in the universe, its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink follow-up time jumps five years into the future where the world is still mourning the loss of 50% of its population (Steve Rogers even runs a support group, so why not head down if you want a sympathy hug from Captain America).
Read more: The best movies of 2023
And it’s in this 2023 that Ant-Man Scott Lang returns to the real world after five years in the Quantum Realm, visiting the Wall of the Vanished (a memorial to the citizens of San Francisco who turned to dust after ‘the snap’), only to discover his own name among the missing. Course, it’s all going to turn out okay, as all those people who got dusted five years ago eventually turn up again, albeit with half a decade missing.
An anti-Purge resistance group will fight back against the Founding Fathers
According to: The Purge: Anarchy
It’s 2023 and in Purge-land these annual crimefests have been going on for six years (unlike in the real world where Blumhouse have been chugging out these movies for – checks calendar – close to a decade).
But now there’s a resistance group, headed up by Michael K Williams’ Carmelo Johns and they’ve wrestled control of the government’s feeds to denounce the New Founding Fathers and put a stop to the purges. “The NFFA pigs are wrong,” their leader tells America.
“Profit-making is not the essence of democracy. Wake up, people. Wake up! It's time to take a stand. Tonight, we write our message in blood… Their blood!” (Spoiler alert, they don’t win, as witnessed by the fact that we’ve had three more films and a TV series since then)
Sentinels will rule the Earth, so watch yourself if you plan on helping any mutants
According to: X-Men: Days Of Future Past
It’s 2023 and the world, Professor X tells us in his grave opening narration, is 'at war'. Sentinels, hulking great robots, rule the Earth where mutants and any humans who dare to help them are exterminated. Kitty Pride and a band of mutants, however, are fighting back, using her time travel powers to send Bishop’s consciousness into the past to warn others of any incoming attack. Meeting up with the Prof, they’re told that this dystopia can be traced back 50 years to 1973 and the assassination, by Mystique, of weapons brainbox Bolivar Trask.
In the wake of Trask’s death, his plans for an army of all-powerful robots was accelerated, with the government using the by-now imprisoned Mystique’s DNA to create what would become the Sentinels. So Kitty sends Wolverine’s consciousness back to the Logan of 1973 so he can stop Mystique and save the future. Naturally, he succeeds and the movie finishes in a much less depressing 2023, at the X-Mansion, with nary a Sentinel or ravaged cityscape in sight.
Captured aliens are experimented on to harvest their telepathic abilities
As seen in: Alien Rising (2014)
No, despite headlining the he’ll-say-yes-to-anything star of Aliens, Alien3 and Alien Vs Predator, Alien Rising has nothing to do with facehuggers.
Instead, Lance Henrickson plays Colonel Cencula, a gruff military thug experimenting on two captured extra-terrestrials, with the help of DEA agent-turned dance teacher (no, we’re not making this up), Lisa Morgan (Amy Hathaway).
Read more: The best horror movies of 2022
Turns out Cancula wants to harvest the aliens’ telepathic abilities to control the Earth’s population (boo hiss etc) but Morgan — once she finds out what he’s up to — decides to try and stop him. A film so mockably cheap it makes Blake’s 7 look like Avatar, it’s certainly the worst movie on Henrickson’s CV, which considering he was in Alien Vs Predator, is some achievement.
Plant-based diets take over in the UK
According to: Carnage
Simon Amstell’s darkly funny 2017 mockumentary tells the story of veganism as if from the year 2067. In Amstell’s 2023, two years after a deadly swine flu pandemic that fundamentally changed how the world’s population viewed eating meat, Freddy Jayashankar (played by comedian Mawaan Rizwan) becomes a superstar chef after his vegan recipes catch fire with the public.
“He’s probably the most significant person in this revolution,” says one talking head about the man who helped re-educate the world on how to ditch the flesh.