In this weeks episode of The Rewatch Podcast, the whole Rewatch team (Cory, Nathan and Tom) rev this podcast up to 88mph as they discuss “Back to the Future”.
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Zemeckis and Gale set the story in 1955 because a 17-year-old traveling to meet his parents at the same age arithmetically required the script to travel to that decade. The era also marked the rise of teenagers as an important cultural element, the birth of rock n’ roll, and suburban expansion, which flavored the story. In an early script, the time machine was a refrigerator, and Marty would need the power of an atomic explosion at the Nevada Test Site to return home.
The inspiration for the film largely stems from Bob Gale discovering his father’s high school yearbook and wondering whether he would have been friends with his father as a teenager. Gale also said that if he had the chance to go back in time, he would really go back and see if they would have been friends.
Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film’s release, thanking them for immortalizing his car.
Universal Pictures head Sid Sheinberg did not like the title “Back to the Future”, insisting that nobody would see a movie with “future” in the title. In a memo to Robert Zemeckis, he said that the title should be changed to “Spaceman From Pluto”, tying in with the Marty-as-alien jokes in the film, and also suggested further changes like replacing the “I’m Darth Vader from planet Vulcan” line with “I am a spaceman from Pluto!” Sheinberg was persuaded to change his mind by a response memo from Steven Spielberg, which thanked him for sending a wonderful “joke memo”, and that everyone got a kick out of it. Sheinberg, too proud to admit he was serious, gave in to letting the film retain its title.
Four weeks into filming, Zemeckis determined Stoltz had been miscast. Although he and Spielberg realized re-shooting the film would add $3 million to the $14 million budget, they decided to recast. Spielberg explained Zemeckis felt Stoltz was not comedic enough and gave a “terrifically dramatic performance”. Gale further explained they felt Stoltz was simply acting out the role, whereas Fox himself had a personality like Marty McFly. He felt Stoltz was uncomfortable riding a skateboard, whereas Fox was not. Stoltz confessed to director Peter Bogdanovich during a phone call, two weeks into the shoot, that he was unsure of Zemeckis and Gale’s direction, and concurred that he was wrong for the role.
Michael J. Fox was allowed by the producer of Family Ties (1982) to film this movie on the condition that he kept his full schedule on the television show, meaning no write-outs or missing episodes, and filmed most of the movie at night. He was not allowed to go on Back to the Future (1985) promotional tours.
Michael J. Fox is only ten days younger than Lea Thompson who plays his mother, and is almost three years older than his on-screen father Crispin Glover.
Musician Mark Campbell did all of Michael J. Fox’s singing. He is credited as “Marty McFly.” Mark was perhaps best known as the lead singer of popular 1980s band Jack Mack and the Heart Attack.
Christopher Lloyd was cast as Doc Brown after the first choice, John Lithgow, became unavailable.
Christopher Lloyd stated that he always wanted to do one more movie, in which Marty and Doc Brown time-travel back to Ancient Rome.
Crispin Glover played George McFly. Zemeckis said Glover improvised much of George’s nerdy mannerisms, such as his shaky hands. The director joked he was “endlessly throwing a net over Crispin because he was completely off about fifty percent of the time in his interpretation of the character”.
Crispin Glover claimed to have seen the film only once, shortly after its release. In contrast, Christopher Lloyd stated that when he occasionally stumbled across a Back to the Future film while channel surfing, he would often sit and watch it.
Biff’s catchphrases “make like a tree and get outta here” and “butthead” were improvised by Thomas F. Wilson.
Melora Hardin was originally cast in the role of Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer, but was let go after Stoltz was dismissed, with the explanation that the actress was now too tall to be playing against Fox. Hardin was dismissed before she had a chance to shoot a single scene and was replaced with Claudia Wells.
When Marty pretends to be Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan, he plays a tape labelled “Edward Van Halen” to scare George out of his sleep. It is an untitled Edward Van Halen original, written for The Wild Life (1984), which featured Lea Thompson, and starred Eric Stoltz.
The rights to the film and its sequels are owned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. In a 2015 interview, Zemeckis maintained that no reboot or remake of the franchise would be authorized during his or Gale’s lifetime
Chuck Berry Remembers Call From Cousin About White Kid Playing ‘Johnny B. Goode':
Read the complete article HERE, thats to our good friends at The Onion News.
The Other Marty McFly:
What’s Up Next?:
Marty may have made it back to the future, but now he has to head into his own as we discuss “Back to the Future Part 2″
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