Time Travel is “In”

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terminatorthumbupIn the Spring of 2013, I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness. As is the case with motion picture marketing now, there were nine (9) previews before the movie started. I happen to like previews, so seeing that green screen come up telling you that your movie isn’t starting just quite yet isn’t a problem (though in general I wish the people around me appreciated previews as much as I did and stopped gabbing). Anyway, I was curious to see that four out of the nine movies previewed were zombie/apocalypse movies. Good news for fans of zombies, certainly!

As an author who’s written a time travel trilogy, WILTON’S GOLD, and is currently shopping it to agents, it made me wonder if in the near future there would be a crescendo in time travel interest, similar to what happened with zombies in the past year. I deduced that if there was going to be, it would be leading up to the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future in 2015. That’s not only because it’s an anniversary, but October, 2015 is when Marty McFly visited the future in Back to the Future, Part II. I started to pay attention to what’s upcoming.

In the past few years, time travel has come in bits and pieces. Seeing Stephen King’s 11/22/63 at the top of the best seller list in 2011 was inspiring as I wrote WILTON’S GOLD, as was the popularity of the movie Looper, and J.J. Abrams’ introduction of time travel in the first Star Trek reboot. But there was no sweeping trend to insinuate that the rest of the world believes catching up to Marty and Doc is as significant as I do.

Until now.

It’s happening – a slew of time travel movies are set to debut in the coming months and into 2015. What’s especially encouraging is the name brands attached to these projects – Michael Bay, Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, DreamWorks Animation, the X-Men franchise. Time travel is a tricky, tricky topic to interpret and make believable, but Hollywood is taking a run at it. And of course, for those of us waiting for another adventure in the Terminator series, the next installment is due July 1, 2015.

I’m excited. Not only because I feel there’s momentum for the time travel genre, but because time travel is such a fascinating subject. You don’t finish a time travel book, or leave a time travel movie, and just give it a simple thumbs-up or down. Time travel requires thought, processing, doubt and interpretation. That’s worthwhile entertainment.

Here’s a taste of what’s on the docket for the next several months:

Mr. Peabody

Yesterday

Edge of Tomorrow

X-Men: Days of Future Past