The Future Was Now
Madmen, Mavericks, and the Epic Sci-Fi Summer of 1982
by Chris Nashawaty
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Pub Date 30 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 29 Aug 2024
From legendary entertainment journalist and author of Caddyshack comes a rollicking history of 1980s cinema—how eight legendary sci-fi films changed Hollywood forever
In the summer of 1982, eight science fiction films were released within six weeks of one another. E.T., Tron, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan, Conan the Barbarian, Blade Runner, Poltergeist, The Thing, and Mad Max: The Road Warrior changed the careers of some of Hollywood's now biggest names—altering the art of movie-making to this day.
In The Future Was Now, Chris Nashawaty recounts the riotous genesis of these films, featuring an all-star cast of Hollywood luminaries and gadflies alike: Steven Spielberg, at the height of his powers, conceives E.T. as an unlikely family tale, and quietly takes over the troubled production of Poltergeist, a horror film he had been nurturing for years. Ridley Scott, fresh off the success of Alien, tries his hand at an odd Philip K. Dick story that becomes Blade Runner—a box office failure turned cult classic. Similar stories arise for films like Tron, Conan the Barbarian, and The Thing. Taken as a whole, these films show a precarious turning-point in Hollywood history, when baffled film executives finally began to understand the potential of high-concept films with a rabid fanbase, merchandising potential, and endless possible sequels.
Expertly researched, energetically told, and written with an unabashed love for the cinema, The Future Was Now is a chronicle of how the revolution sparked in a galaxy far, far away finally took root and changed Hollywood forever.