Michael J. Fox Says a ‘Back to the Future’ Reboot Doesn’t Need to Exist, but ‘Do What You Want. I Got Paid Already’
If Hollywood ever opts to reboot “Back to the Future” without the original cast, Michael J. Fox says he’s at peace with the decision.
“I’m not fanatical,” Fox told Variety for a recent cover story on his life and career. “Do what you want. It’s your movie. I got paid already.”
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But that doesn’t mean he thinks it’s a good idea. Fox also believes that Robert Zemeckis, the trilogy’s director and writer, and his co-writer, Bob Gale, wouldn’t be down with it either.
“I don’t think it needs to be,” Fox added. “I think Bob and Bob have been really smart about that. I don’t think it needs rebooting because are you going to clarify something? You’re going to find a better way to tell the story? I doubt it.”
So was Fox ever approached about returning to Hill Valley as the time-traveling Marty McFly after the series wrapped up with 1990’s “Back to the Future Part III“?
“I’m sure somebody thought about it,” Fox tells Variety. “But I was in the early stages of Parkinson’s at that point, so I don’t know that I would have wanted to take that on. Right after ‘Part Three’ had done well, there might have been conversations about it, but I never got involved in them.”
As for Christopher Lloyd, he’s more open to firing up the DeLorean for another jaunt into the past or the future.
“I would love to do a sequel, but I think Bob Zemeckis and [producer Steven] Spielberg felt that they told the story in the three episodes,” he says. “But if somebody has a brilliant idea that would justify a fourth film it might happen.”
And Lloyd thinks he knows what makes his chemistry with Fox so magnetic.
“There was a certain ease between us,” he says. “I didn’t have to struggle get there with Michael. There was never any conflict. It just fit. And it’s never stopped. I feel like we could go and do it again after all these years and not have to think about the relationship between Marty and Doc.”
Fox revisits “Back to the Future,” his film and television stardom and his advocacy for Parkinson’s research, the disease he was diagnosed with at age 29, in “Still,” a new documentary by Davis Guggenheim that premiered on Apple TV+ last week. The film includes recreations of some of Fox’s most memorable screen moments, which proved difficult, as few actors have been as gifted at physical comedy as he was when he starred in the sci-fi adventure.
“We had these kids come in to do a car slide like I do in the movie,” Fox says of the “Back to the Future” recreations. “Now when we made the movie nobody taught me how to do a car slide. I just flipped into the seat and there I went. I never understood that was really difficult to do. I was used to taking risks. I’d just tell my body to do something and it would do it. These kids couldn’t do the thing with the DeLorean to save their lives. They would bang into the side of the car and fall over. I was tempted to just get up there and do it myself.”
“Back to the Future” might not be back on screen any time soon. But it is being reimagined as a Broadway musical. Just don’t expect to see Fox on stage.
“There’s no role for me in it, but I’ll be cheering from the side,” he said.
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