More “Behind The Scenes” About “Back To The Future!”

  • The movie was almost not called “Back To The Future.” Sid Sheinberg – the Head of Universal Studios – didn’t like the title “Back To The Future.” He sent a memo asking to change the name to “Spaceman From Pluto.” Producer Steven Spielberg stepped in, replying to Sheinberg’s memo with one of his own that simply said: “Sid, thanks for your most humorous memo. We all got a big kick out of it. Thanks, Steven.” Sheinberg did not reply to Spielberg’s memo.
  • Marty’s surname was, originally, not McFly, but McDermott.
  • The famous clocktower climax to the movie wasn’t part of the script. Instead, Marty and Doc were supposed to visit a nuclear test site in Nevada and a nuclear explosion would send the DeLorean back to the future. This was changed because the whole sequence would have proved too expensive.
  • The final scene originally didn’t play out how it does in the film, with Doc turning back up at Marty’s house and taking him and Jennifer on another adventure. It originally ended with George looking at a 1955 newspaper with a picture of Marty playing Johnny B. Goode on stage, and saying, “It can’t be. But it is…”
  • Originally, the time machine wasn’t a DeLorean. In the first drafts, the time machine was an actual time chamber – a room that Marty would go into and be zapped back in time. That then changed to a big, 1950s-style refrigerator that Marty would climb into. The production team became worried about children climbing into refrigerators and becoming trapped…so they dropped the idea.
  • Michael J. Fox wasn’t originally cast as Marty – Eric Stoltz got the part…after John CusackCharlie SheenRalph Macchio, and Johnny Depp lost out. Apparently, they got about six weeks into production and the producers realized that Stoltz – while a great actor – didn’t have the comedic timing they were looking for. The switch was made behind the scenes and everyone found out during a nighttime shoot when they were about halfway through the project. When Fox came on board, it was with the understanding that his work on “Family Ties” came first. In fact, he shot the TV show during the day…and the film at night.