All the awesome sci-fi events that actually take place in the 2020s

A ton of movies and TV episodes, from the Marvel universe to the Simpsons to Doctor Who, are set between 2020 and 2030.

Lance Cartelli
Lance Cartelli is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer based in Los Angeles, California.
Lance Cartelli
1 of 45 Walt Disney Pictures

Bye bye, Thanos

Life sure comes at you fast. Can you believe it's almost the end of the 2010s already? With time raging by, what could possibly be in store for the world in the 2020s? Pop culture has been dropping hints about what could transpire in 2020 and beyond.  

These are some of the coolest sci-fi events, movies, TV shows and video games that are set in the roaring 2020s. 

The defeat of Thanos in Avengers: Endgame — one of the highest-grossing films of all time — is set in November 2023. 

2 of 45 20th Century Fox

Multiple The Simpsons episodes`

The Simpsons episodes — "Barthood" (pictured) and "Mr. Lisa's Opus" — take place in the 2020s, and we get to see the kids all grown up.

3 of 45 Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place

In the first three months of 2020, most of Earth's population is killed in the movie A Quiet Place. The majority of the film is set in 2021. 

4 of 45 Paramount

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The reunification of Ireland

In Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The High Ground," Data says the reunification of Ireland occurs in 2024.

5 of 45 Universal Pictures

The first Purge

The first Purge film is set on Purge night from March 21 to 22, 2022.

6 of 45 Walt Disney Pictures

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Peter Parker's European adventures in Spider-Man: Far From Home is a perfect Avengers: Endgame epilogue is set in 2024, following the events of Avengers: Endgame.

7 of 45 Warner Bros.

V For Vendetta: Bombing of the Palace of Westminster

The masked vigilante V recites "Remember, remember the fifth of November," before destroying London's Palace of Westminster on Nov. 5, 2028.

8 of 45 20th Century Fox


Set in 2029, Logan marks Hugh Jackman's final appearance as Wolverine. 

9 of 45 BBC Studios

Two Doctor Who episodes

The Doctor Who episode "The Hungry Earth," which takes place in 2020, features tech that makes the earth tremble and split. Another episode, "Cold Blood," is also set in 2020.

10 of 45 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The seventh film in the X-Men saga sees a trip back to the 1970s... but the story itself takes place in 2023.

11 of 45 Universal Studios

Children of Men: Pregnancy is back

In the film Children of Men, set in 2027, a woman becomes pregnant after 18 years of global human infertility. 

12 of 45 Warner Bros.

Edge of Tomorrow

In this Tom Cruise-led action film, aliens invade Earth in 2015. By 2020, humans achieve their first victory over extraterrestrials using newly developed mech-suits. 

13 of 45 20th Century Fox

The Martian: First manned mission to Mars

While The Martian takes place in 2035, it's mentioned in the film that the first manned mission to Mars landed in 2029.

14 of 45 20th Century Fox

The Purge: Anarchy

On March 21, 2023, the media declares the Purge phenomenon an economic success.

15 of 45 Interstar

Highlander II: The Quickening

In Highlander II: The Quickening — starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery — the ozone layer restores itself in 2024.

16 of 45 Universal Pictures


In Doom, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a portal to an ancient city on Mars is discovered under Nevada in 2026. 

17 of 45 Manga Entertainment

Ghost in the Shell

Arguably the greatest anime film of all time, Ghost in the Shell, is set in 2029, when humans can be augmented with cybernetics, or even completely replaced with a cyber-shell.

18 of 45 20th Century Fox

I, Robot: U.S.R. robotics company created

Although Will Smith's I, Robot is set in 2035, the U.S.R. robotics company is founded in 2020.

19 of 45 Netflix

The Cloverfield Paradox

The third film in the Cloverfield saga — yes, that's a thing — is set in 2028, while a global energy crisis is in full swing.

20 of 45 Paramount Pictures

Terminator: Dark Fate

The latest Terminator film — which features Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their original roles — is set in 2020, when a Terminator is sent back in time to murder someone in Mexico City.

21 of 45 Paramount Pictures

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Although Terminator 2 is set in 1995, Skynet, in 2029, sends an upgraded terminator to kill John Connor. 

22 of 45 Orion Pictures

The Terminator

In The Terminator, a terminator and a human soldier are sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to, respectively, assassinate and protect Sarah Connor.

23 of 45 Paramount Pictures

Terminator: Genisys

In this reboot of the Terminator franchise, John Connor, in 2029, sends Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor.

24 of 45 Paramount Pictures

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

The Hot Tub Time Machine sequel is set 10 years after the original, which would make it 2025 when Lou gets shot.

25 of 45 Focus Features

Captive State

In the 2019 thriller Captive State, aliens, known as Legislators, have enslaved the people of Earth by 2027. 

26 of 45 Warner Bros.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim, the Guillermo del Toro-directed action film, takes place in 2025, when giant mecha warriors battle massive kaiju.

27 of 45 Warner Bros.


The disaster film Geostorm takes place in 2022 — which might not be so farfetched after all.

28 of 45 Capcom

Dead Rising 3

The zombie apocalypse in the game Dead Rising 3 take place from March 23 to March 31, 2021. 

29 of 45 Walt Disney Pictures

Real Steel

In the film Real Steel, robots have replaced humans as boxers by 2020. 

30 of 45 Global Road Entertainment

Hotel Artemis

This dystopian thriller predicts that all the water in a future Los Angeles will become a privatized commodity by 2028. In the film, a nurse runs a hospital for criminals.

31 of 45 20th Century Fox

Babylon A.D.

Subdermally implanted passports are a thing in this Vin Diesel-led sci film, set in 2027.

32 of 45 Universal Pictures


The Thunderbirds 1960s television series is set in 2065, while the 2004 film takes place in 2020.

33 of 45 20th Century Fox

Planet of the Apes

The apes have taken over the planet by 2029 in the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes.

34 of 45 20th Century Fox

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set 10 years in the future, which makes it the year 2026.

35 of 45 20th Century Fox

War for the Planet of the Apes

The battles in War for the Planet of the Apes take place two years after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which would be 2028. 

36 of 45 Warner Bros.

Ready Player One: Wade Watts is born

In the film version of Ready Player One, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is born in 2027.

37 of 45 Sony Pictures

Click: Sees his father for the final time

In Click — the Adam Sandler comedy where he's able to pause, rewind or fast-forward through life — Michael Newman (Sandler) visits his father for the last time in 2021.

38 of 45 SNK

Metal Slug

The classic run-and-gun video game is set in 2028, after a coup has replaced most of the world's governments.

39 of 45 Buena Vista Pictures

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire — and its surprisingly strong cast, featuring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey — is set in England in 2020, when humans are nearly extinct.

40 of 45 Activision

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

In the ninth Call of Duty game, set in 2025, wars are run by robots and drones.

41 of 45 TriStar Pictures

Johnny Mnemonic

This 1995 action-thriller — starring Keanu Reeves as a guy with data implanted in his head — takes place in 2021.

42 of 45 Universal Pictures

Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision

The straight-to-DVD sequel to Timecop takes place in 2025, when time travel tech has improved... and so have the cops tasked with preserving the past and future.

43 of 45 Rare

Perfect Dark Zero

Perfect Dark Zero, released in 2005 as a launch title for the Xbox 360, is set in 2020.

44 of 45 Universal Pictures

Repo Men

The Jude Law-led action-thriller is set in 2025, a time when artificial organs are a thing.

45 of 45 Sony Pictures


This remake of the 1987 classic is set in 2028, aka the era of the cyborg cop.

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