In the modern Hollywood era, when seemingly every major franchise has been rebooted or sequalized, it’s kind of surprising that we haven’t seen another Back to the Future movie. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s time-travel trilogy remains as popular today as when it began 35 years ago and both creators have been asked about returning ad nauseam.
The answer, however, has always been the same: no. They do not want to make another Back to the Future movie and won’t allow anyone else to make one without their blessing. Which they won’t give. Seems fairly cut-and-dried, but in a new interview with Collider, Gale put an even finer point on why there should never be a sequel or a reboot.
“If we went back and made another one, we’d have Michael J. Fox, who will be 60 next year, and he has Parkinson’s Disease,” Gale said. “Do we want to see Marty McFly at age 60 with Parkinson’s Disease? Did we want to see him at age 50 with Parkinson’s Disease? I would say ‘No, you don’t want to see that.’ And you don’t want to see Back to the Future without Michael J. Fox.” [Editor’s Note: While I personally do not want more BttF, I, for one, would appreciate seeing actors with disabilities getting to play characters with disabilities! - Jill P.]
Michael J. Fox is obviously a big part of it. But, you could just recast it right? There was that Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. deep fake people seemed to like...
“People say, ‘Well, do it with somebody else.’ Really? Who are you going to get?” Gale continues. “All you’re gonna do is beg comparisons to the originals, and you’re not going to match up. And we’ve seen this repeatedly with sequels that go back to the well after many, many years, and they go ‘Ah, well, The Phantom Menace, maybe my life would have been better if I hadn’t seen it.’ There are a lot of extra sequels like that.”
Just want to interject that that no one’s life would be better had they not seen The Phantom Menace, for all the reasons mentioned here.
But the point stands. The film will always be compared to the original and never live on its own. That’s just a fact. As a result, it’ll always be considered inferior or, hypothetical though unlikely, will lessen the legacy of the original. Gale went on to say that Universal Pictures, which controls the rights, has explained to him that returning to the franchise would be very lucrative. Obviously. For Gale and Zemeckis, though, it’s not about the money. “As proud parents, we’re not going to sell our kids into prostitution,” Gale said. Ouch.
He is right, though. It’s nice to have at least a few things that are held sacred. There are so few franchises or characters that haven’t been watered down in the past 30 years that it’s refreshing to have a franchise like Back to the Future which can just remain those three beloved movies. Plus, if you really want more Back to the Future, it’s out there. There are comic books, video games, even a freaking Broadway musical. Plenty of other ways the story has been continued without a movie. Those things feel like the best of both worlds—more of that thing you love without actually affecting the original.
Tell us what you think below, and you can read more of Gale’s comments at Collider and listen to the full interview here.
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