The year was 2001, coincidentally the title of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction film that envisioned a world filled with space travel and thundering classical music. With the irony not lost on him, Judge began the first outline of what would eventually become Idiocracy, a 2006 film in which Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), the world’s most average man, wakes up to a bleak, corporate-overrun future devoid of intelligence.
If, as someone who watches cable news and/or experiences the drawbacks of social media far too often, you feel as though you can relate, then you’re not alone. Idiocracy has become a bona fide cult classic and a cutting satire that, while designed to present an exaggerated sense of pessimism and lampoon America’s slavish devotion to consumer culture, has instead wound up mirroring our society just a bit more accurately than anyone had anticipated. The film has, perhaps consequently, earned a devoted fan base. But like many, Idiocracy‘s path to becoming a cult favorite began at a seeming dead end.