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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day is your density. I mean… your destiny.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

I got a really nice pic for you guys today, from Back to the Future… but not the version you saw. We’re going to focus on a few shots of Eric Stoltz in his brief time as Marty McFly.

The first is a real deal behind the scenes shot of Stoltz and Lea Thompson… who is ungodly hot in this shot. If you want to know my perfect woman is probably an equal measure of Lea Thompson in Back to the Future and Lea Thompson in Howard the Duck.

The second shot is one I dug up a while ago and was waiting for the right time to publish it. The photo isn’t exactly a behind the scenes shot, but a relic of a movie that never was. It’s Stoltz’s version of the fading photo.

I’m a big fan of Eric Stoltz, but I don’t think anybody can deny that Michael J. Fox is the perfect fit for Marty. I once asked Stoltz about it, back before the new Blu-Rays (and even the DVDs) when there wasn’t much talk out there about all this and he was very diplomatic and said that the producers liked him, but he wasn’t a right fit for what they wanted. He said he has accepted it and moved on, but it was quite crushing at the time, naturally.

Still, it’s interesting to see what could have been and I hope you guys enjoy today’s pics.

Thanks to Vivek Bhat for sending the first pick along and for for digging it up in the first place! Click either to embiggen!




If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow I’ll be at the big Alamo “Inspirations of Super 8” quadruple feature of Slumber Party Massacre, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Scanners and John Carpenter’s The Thing, so tomorrow’s behind the scenes pic will be from a Super 8 influence to commemorate the day! Be good and patient to find out what it is!

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  • June 1, 2011, 10:04 p.m. CST

    we need to see more of the shot stoltz scenes.

    by MST3KPIMP

  • June 1, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST


    by Mr Soze

    He must have bombed big time.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Such a different movie

    by RpgSama

    It would have been an entirely different tone, the same stoltz always said he saw it as a tragedy not a comedy...

  • June 1, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by Quint

    The line is that Stoltz was good, but not setting the right tone. He was underplaying Marty, making him moodier than the film needed. That's what Stoltz told me a good 8 or 9 years ago and what they seem to say on the Blu-Ray docs. Could be political, but that's what they say.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    What might have been

    by Kraven Morehead

    These shots remind me of something you would see in one of those time travel movies that shows alternate events like "Back to the . . ." oh, wait. Nevermind.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    This is the stuff of legend

    by Bobo_Vision

    Within a movie about alternate timelines and outcomes.....there exists its own alternate timeline and outcome with an entirely different actor playing the lead. It's mindblowing if you think about it.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Would Stoltz have been so bad?

    by Rex Carsalot

    Not to piss on a classic, but Fox is pretty damned hammy in that movie.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:09 p.m. CST

    He's feeling her up...

    by Mr Soze

    A bolt of lightning??!!

  • June 1, 2011, 10:10 p.m. CST

    80's era Lea Thompson...**swoon**

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Along with Elizabeth Shue and the pre-fatso Kirstie Alley, she was one of my biggest crushes of that time. Them, and April O'Neil from TMNT (and Gadget from Rescue Rangers, but that's getting into weird "furry" territory...).

  • June 1, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST

    we must succeed!

    by seabiscuits

  • June 1, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Quint, what about lea thompson in casual sex?

    by percane

    i hope that wasn't a body double...

  • June 1, 2011, 10:13 p.m. CST

    the old western background, doc's six shooter

    by seabiscuits

    it's like part 3 was in their mind's all along.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Saw some bits of those scenes

    by BizarroJerry

    And it did look like Stoltz was playing the part very straight, taking it seriously. It doesn't seem, to me, that that's right for that movie. There's a lot of silliness in the plot. I think Stoltz -- again in what little I saw of it -- would've taken some of the fun out of it. But, man, imagine having already filmed some of it, then having it come out and be such a massive hit? Can't help but feel bad for him.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:18 p.m. CST

    The Back to the Future series...

    by HansBubi

    ...will never stop giving us something to think about. I love it all. We will always be just a little curious as to how the series would have played with Stoltz in it. I doubt many of us think it would have been better, but it's an interesting "what if...?" mystery. I love that people will always talk about how "the present" compares to the future imagined in the second movie. Doesn't it feel like you can always have a fresh conversation about this series? I am really impressed by how it always seems to be relevant.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    That first pic is extra rapey.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Back to the Future...

    by tailhook

    like Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was one of the very few movies to get the feeling of Pure Adventure just right and 95% of that had to do with MJ Fox going over the top with the role. He's the glue that holds everything together as everything goes wild and i don't think Stoltz would even have been able to nail that. It simply would have been a completely different type of movie. Not that he's a bad actor, he's not. Its just a particular type of chemistry that lit that movie on fire.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    I don't get why they hired him to begin with, if he wasn't right for the role. Why they trying to mess with is head?

  • June 1, 2011, 10:25 p.m. CST

    bobo_vision : alternate timeline...

    by tailhook

    that sir, only exists in The Twilight Zone(if you even know what 'The Twilight Zone' was meant to convey). In actuality, the only timeline that exists is the one we've experienced... and we can never go back again.

  • bro shorts also acceptable

  • June 1, 2011, 10:28 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    I'm very glad Fox took his place. He was simply perfect throughout the series, and as Tailhook says, the glue that held it all together. I sense a bit of character fatigue on Lloyd's part by III, but Fox was still giving his all.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    "we can never go back again" - tailhook

    by Bobo_Vision

    Uh, I think you're wrong, sir. If you even know what a jigawatt is, you'd know that all you need is 1.21 jigawatts and you CAN indeed go back, and then go back to the future. Duh.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    RE: Didn't they screentest him first...

    by Dreamwriter

    MJ Fox was their first choice. When they needed to start filming, though, he was unavailable, so they had to choose a new actor. After they had started filming with Stoltz, they weren't totally thrilled with how the movie was turning out, and MJ Fox suddenly became available again.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:35 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Now THAT makes sense. Thanks for the info.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Don't feel sorry for Stoltz!

    by vin_diggler

    it's not like he got cut from this film and ended up making a living as a jizz mopper in a New York nudie booth. He still became a very well known actor.Jesus he has a unforgettable role in Pulp Fiction for God's sake. That alone earns my respect. Believe me, he has long since gotten over Back to the Future.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Nice Menu they had!

    by slicer

    Teriyaki Steak Veg Lasagna Halibut Au Gratin Potatoes Green Beans yum!

  • June 1, 2011, 10:40 p.m. CST

    not a reflection on Stoltz

    by micbenxyy

    Eric was not their first choice. They liked him as an actor, so they hired him - hoping that he would be 'Michael Fox - like'. When the rushes indicated that he wasn't, they moved heaven and earth to get their first choice - Michael Fox

  • June 1, 2011, 10:41 p.m. CST


    by Raskolnikov_was_framed

    they wanted Fox the whole time but he was busy on another film when they started shooting...then later Fox was freed up and they replaced Stoltz...Michael J. Fox was the guy they wanted all along

  • June 1, 2011, 10:42 p.m. CST

    awesome pics

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    i was one of the many who was hoping we'd finally get a look at those scenes they shot with stoltz on the last blu-ray release. Seems like they held back though unfortunately.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:43 p.m. CST

    In another weird coincidence.....

    by Bobo_Vision

    ...remember when Doc was thinking of which point in time to go back to visit and witness....and he suggested the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Well there was an episode of Family Ties which plays out just like Back to the Future, where Alex P Keaton dreams he goes back in time and he has to get Thomas Jefferson to write it. This episode came out before BTTF, but is believed to have filmed the same time as BTTF filmed.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:43 p.m. CST

    vin diggler

    by TheMcflyFarm

    you ask twenty people who Michael J Fox is, 20 out of 20 will know. Maybe 1 out of 20 people know who Stoltz is. I'm pretty sure he cries himself to sleep some nights thinking about Back to the Future.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:45 p.m. CST

    cool when the sequel/remake is going to happen?

    by KilliK

    i give it two years the most,from now.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:50 p.m. CST

    RIP, Doc Brown

    by Robert79797979

    Goodnight, sweet prince.

  • June 1, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST


    by vin_diggler

    well I can't argue with your "hypothetical poll" since it does not exhist. I can say, however, that they both have made their mark on Hollywood in each of there own unique ways. I am sure Stoltz will always have some "what if" moments about Back to the Future, but I highly doubt he cries himself to sleep at night.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Lea Thompson is not "ungodly hot" in that shot

    by D.Vader

    Lea Thompson has been "ungodly hot" in hundreds of other shots over this one.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Howard the Duck was execrable

    by Queefer Sutherland

    But Lea's legs were jerkworthy. What a fine fine piece of ass she was.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:11 p.m. CST

    "Jan" from THE OFFICE was originally cast as Jennifer

    by ShiftyEyedDog

    there's actually a pre-filming publicity pic of the two of them together out there on the net if you look for it, but yeah Melora Harris (I think that's her name) was cast originally instead of Lea Thompson. I believe she was recast before filming ever began though.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Melora HARDIN... that was her name

    by ShiftyEyedDog

  • June 1, 2011, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by TheMcflyFarm

    Point taken. I'm just saying there's no doubt he'd be a bigger star if they hadn't fired him from the film. But then again BTTF most likely wouldn't be what it is if he wasn't canned. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. If the movie turned out to be a disaster with Stoltz as the lead, he may very well have ended his career, maybe even Zemeckis and Spielberg's too, who knows.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:15 p.m. CST

    All the Right Moves

    by Nuck81

    Lea Thompson was smoking hot in that one. Band Geeks, there is nothing that can match a hot Band Geek.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Holy hell.

    by Jason Byfield

    MJF was working on two hits at the same time, shooting Family Ties by day and BTTF by night. The guy was/is a trooper.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:31 p.m. CST

    One of the best "alternate universe" gags on Fringe...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...was seeing the 1985-era theater marquee advertising "Back To The Future featuring Eric Stoltz".

  • June 1, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST

    C. Thomas Howell was ALMOST cast as well. But Fox IS Marty McFly.

    by The Krypton Kid

  • June 1, 2011, 11:38 p.m. CST

    "He still became a very well known actor."

    by KilliK

    but he didnt become a movie star.and that deep down in his soul hurts him even if he consciously does not acknowledge it.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:40 p.m. CST


    by vin_diggler

    Man I gotta disagree with you again. Back to the Future did not make MJ Fox a star. MJ Fox made Back to the Future a great movie. Stoltz was just miscast plain and simple. If the film was completed with Stoltz instead of Fox, I don't believe it would have been as memorable. But now I am going into hypothetical situations. It is fun to think about what could have been huh?

  • June 1, 2011, 11:43 p.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty

    by room23storeblogspotcom

    Yeah that was pretty awesome, I loved it how one of the Observers said that it was an interesting commentary and September said that it was just a movie or something like that.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST


    by vin_diggler

    Dude I didn't get the lead role in Back to the Future and I wasn't even old enough to try out. So deep down inside, I will always hurt that I am not a big name actor because I did not star in BTTF. Stoltz, on the other hand, has had many memorable roles and continues to get jobs today. You asume that he is completely jealous of MJ fox and regrets losing that gig to this day. I believe he is a stonger man than that and has moved on.

  • June 1, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Check out Stoltz in 'The Triangle' mini-series

    by SmokingRobot

    Good little show with a good cast including Sam Neil and that hot gal from 'JAG'.

  • June 2, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Still the BEST Time Travel Movie

    by RoarsLoudly

    Made to date!

  • June 2, 2011, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Wendy Jo Sperber (the sister)

    by nolan bautista

    is that even her in the second pic?

  • June 2, 2011, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Is the person on the left, in the 2nd pic, in the process

    by tritium

    of being beamed up to the Enterprise? Or is it some sort of apparition/ghost/poltergeist? Or, is it in the process of activating a cloaking device. My's a Predator!!!

  • June 2, 2011, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Love me some vintage Lea Thompson. Damn.

    by JuanSanchez

  • and spawning a hugely successful trilogy - had to have been hell.

  • June 2, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    And getting fired by the most powerful guy in Hollywood

    by Bobo_Vision

    Not the pinnacle of any movie actors career.

  • June 2, 2011, 1:23 a.m. CST

    She is still hot. Been spanking it to her for three decades.

    by Dennis_Moore

  • Disappearing shot: Publicity shot:

  • June 2, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Even Stoltz's wardrobe was off

    by BillEmic

    Seriously, ever shot and clip I've seen of Stoltz in BttF, he's wearing all black. Combine that with his 'serious' take on the film, and he just seems like a mopey goth kid (probably with a closet full of Cure records). There's no way he woulda been able to pull off that "holy cow, I'm back in the 1950's! Cool!" sense of awe that Fox had.

  • June 2, 2011, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Some more comparison shots...

    by JuanSanchez

  • June 2, 2011, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I would pay decent money to see all Stoltz stuff cut together.

    by JuanSanchez

  • June 2, 2011, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Why BTTF is a tragedy

    by SonicRiver

    When Marty Mcfly travels back to 1955 and interferes with the past, it causes unintended consequences in the future. The major apparent change is in the socioeconomic status of Marty's family. Some may see this as a good thing. However, the way the film is shot, it is clear that Marty Mcfly remembers his poor original family, and doesn't remember his wealthy new family. As a result of this, Marty's fiddling with the past has essentially destroyed his poor original family. And this, friends, is a tragedy.

  • June 2, 2011, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Looking at those comparison shots......

    by harryknowlesnothingaboutfilm

    it looks like everything is framed better when they got to film everything a second time. Maybe one of the reasons its a classic. they ironed out all the kinks the first time around.

  • seems they got pretty far into the making of the film with stoltz, it would be great to see.

  • June 2, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST

    All the Right Moves

    by twogunjames

    Lea Thompson does some full frontal in that flick, if memory serves.

  • June 2, 2011, 2:36 a.m. CST


    by Munro Kelly

    If BTTF bombed, it would not have done a thing to Spielberg's career. You have to remember the incredible force he was in 85". In 1985 he produced, Fandango, The Goonies, BTTF and Young Sherlock Holmes, he also directed The Color Purple and Amazing Stories debuted that year. If BTTF was a disaster the filmmakers would've been disappointed but they would still have careers.

  • June 2, 2011, 3 a.m. CST

    Krypton...whoops thanks for catching my brainfart

    by ShiftyEyedDog

    yes, Melora Hardin was cast as Jennifer, his girlfriend. Lea Thompson was always his mom.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:03 a.m. CST

    What's wrong with Some Kind Of Wonderful?

    by alan_poon

    I love that film.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Lea Thompson - All The Right Moves

    by StevenScorsese

    She certainly does have a nice full frontal scene in that great film, bless her soul:

  • June 2, 2011, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Re Ms Thompson

    by Ciderman

    gods that girl was hot! As a teenager I watched Howard The Duck more times than was healthy, as well as BTTF, I had the soundtracks on cassette and nearly wore them out! But Lea, hmm, Lea, hard to say just how gorgeous that girl was, and to a young man like myself, well, feck, find myself getting all "anxious" just thinking about her, to paraphrase Beetlejuice! She was pretty hot in Caroline In The City as well, just to say.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Re Ms Thompson

    by Ciderman

    gods that girl was hot! As a teenager I watched Howard The Duck more times than was healthy, as well as BTTF, I had the soundtracks on cassette and nearly wore them out! But Lea, hmm, Lea, hard to say just how gorgeous that girl was, and to a young man like myself, well, feck, find myself getting all "anxious" just thinking about her, to paraphrase Beetlejuice! She was pretty hot in Caroline In The City as well, just to say.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:04 a.m. CST

    They ORIGINALLY wanted Fox, but he was unavailable, right?

    by 3D-Man

    So they went with Stoltz. But then, Fox DID become available and Stoltz was sent packin'. So, their original vision was brought to the screen. It was just meant to be, I guess.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:07 a.m. CST

    Inspirations of Super 8...

    by kwisatzhaderach

    which are all better than Super 8. What's the point in being inspired by something and then making something not as good? Bizarre.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Tragedy, sonic?

    by jameskpolk

    Ask any high school-aged kid from poor family if he thinks it would be a tragedy to wake up one morning to find that suddenly: Your dad is wealthy and successful Your mom is no longer an alcoholic Your brother is an executive instead of a Burger King wage-slave Your sister is no longer an overweight crybaby I think I could live with that kind of tragedy.

  • June 2, 2011, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by fat_rancor_keeper

    so the story goes...........anyway it all worked out for the best. fox owned those 3 flicks.

  • June 2, 2011, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Yes, A tragedy jameskpolk

    by SonicRiver

    Since there was a change in circumstances, Marty no longer shares the memories of his wealthy family. He wasn't there when his family went on ski trips to Aspen, or when they hung out playing golf at the country club. So, his wealthy parents and siblings are basically different people. It's almost as if he has transferred between alternate universes, SLIDER style, and has lost his family for ever. I think the fact that Eric Stoltz knew this when he was so young is an indication of the extent of his intelligence. Perhapd Speilberg and Zemicks were just annoyed at how smart he was.

  • Not that I'm asking for a remake. But the way to do it would be to play off the humour that what was the "present" of the original is now the "weird retro past when everything was soooo different", and what was the "imagined future era" is now our present day, and completely different. No flying cars and whatnot. But people in 1985 thought thats what 2015 would be like, just like people in the 1955 thought 1985 would be some crazy star trek like futurama.

  • June 2, 2011, 5:56 a.m. CST

    part 2 they could go to 2045

    by Rebel Scumb

    And we could speculate about the future based on what we think now. And then in 30 years people can look back and see how wrong we were again...

  • June 2, 2011, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Re: BACK TO THE FUTURE WAS A Tragedy ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    BACK TO THE FUTURE actually WAS a tragedy: Marty's dad becomes a best-selling author, Marty's mom is a MILF, his brother Dave is some kind of executive, Wendie Jo Sperber seems to being doing okay with the guys, Marty now has a monster truck ... yet they all continue to live together in that shitty little house under the electrical tower and they've somehow managed to hire Biff -- the dude who almost raped Lorraine in high school and is apparently still harboring a secret grudge against George -- as their houseboy. Plus, if Marty is now upper-middle-class and has a well-adjusted life, would he really still be hanging out with some wacko old inventor dude or have a rock band that sounds suspiciously like Huey Lewis & The News or be dating Jennifer, who I'm sure was only with him to piss off her parents? That's not even factoring in Part II, where, apparently, not even this leg-up in life prevents Marty from becoming a middle-aged office drone whose entire future is ruined because he lost some dexterity in his hand and can't play guitar, or his ugly-assed kids (one of whom is apparently semi-retarded), or that instead of worrying about saving Marty's kids, maybe Doc should have either prevented Marty from getting fired, or, more to the point, maybe helped prevent that easily-preventable car accident that fucked up Marty's life to begin with. And what about those terrorists? Wouldn't they know they hadn't killed Doc Brown when they read about him being honored in the newspaper?Would he be living with a death sentence over his head for the rest of his life? Most of all, there's an overarching implication that, whether they got the sports almanac back or not, Fifties' Biff is now fully aware that Doc Brown has a time machine in 1985 and that Biff should be aware that his life was completely fucked up as a result of it.

  • June 2, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Rebel Scumb: That's What I've Been Saying


    And they might do it, if Zemeckis would allow . . . that would make a lot more sense than trying to rotely update the franchise. I'd love mix up, where it's 2015 and the hero goes back to 1985, then back to 1955, then back to 1925 . . . something that completely messes with the continuity of the original series.

  • June 2, 2011, 7:15 a.m. CST

    They Didn't Really Think We'd Have Flying Cars


    In 2015. That was just a cool way to end a underdog movie that they had no expectation of turning into a trilogy. Once they had done it, they had to kind of stick with it . . . Although they got the newspaper wrong, what with the upcoming visit of Queen Diana to the United States and whatnot.

  • June 2, 2011, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Re: Oh, and Part III ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Really? Marty is freaked out to discover Doc Brown died in 1885? Did he not process that he would somehow stumble over Doc's grave regardless of when or how he died, considering he was stuck seventy years in the past in a time and place where getting a foot splinter could result in amputation? Why didn't Marty simply go back to the night Doc Brown accidentally split in the time machine in the first place, have him land the fucking thing before the lightning strike, watch in wonderment as the 1885 Delorean and the other 1955 Marty suddenly vanished and hightail it back to 1985 with no real harm done? Hell, at least go back to 1985 and get that fucking bulletproof vest from Part I to give to 1885 Doc (and maybe a couple of Uzis).

  • June 2, 2011, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Lea & Lloyd @ London Film & Comic Con next month

    by BikerScout

    I remember seeing BttF at the theatre at the age of 8. I still love it & cannot wait to meet Chris Lloyd & Lea Thompson. It was great to finally see Stoltz's scenes on the BD release but I agree with previous comments - the film wouldn't have been the same without MJF.

  • June 2, 2011, 7:51 a.m. CST

    how was Biff able to return the car in BTTF 2

    by durhay

    after giving his younger self the magazine?

  • June 2, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Michael J. Fox's availability didn't change...

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Michael J. Fox's availability didn't change, it's just that Speilberg convinced Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties Priducer) to finally allow MJF to do the movie telling him how it would be great for Faily Ties to have it's star be in a major summer movie.

  • June 2, 2011, 8:03 a.m. CST

    November 12, 1955

    by DangerDave

    Never forget!

  • June 2, 2011, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Re: durhay

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Never mind that: how was he able to successfully program and operate the fucking time machine in the fist place? The first movie pretty much established that he wasn't smart enough to steer a car out of the way of a manure truck, not fall for a sucker punch setup or even come up with a witty retort from the Fifties without fucking it up. Hell, for that matter, how did he even figure out a plan that involved changing the course of his personal history? Sure, he overheard Marty talking about it, but how much of that would he have actually processed? Moreover, how the hell did he kill himself in such a goofy goddamn way (by breaking his cane and stabbing himself with the jagged end)? And did no one notice the blood that I'm pretty that wound up spilling all over the seat, the outside of the car or the street next to the car? And why didn't he tell young Biff to just "shoot Marty McFly or Doc Brown on sight", instead of being all cryptic and going "someday, a kid or an old man might come around asking about the almanac"? Wouldn't that have saved a lot of trouble? What about 2015? Wouldn't that have changed the minute old Biff went back in time? And FINALLY (and most obviously), why not just give young Biff the fucking TIME MACHINE, instead of the almanac?!? I mean, sports scores and getting rich is great and all, but if you're gonna be a villain, why not go for broke and give your younger self the ultimate weapon to reshape history to your whims with? At least they got that part right with the BTTF ride ...

  • One in which Marty goes back in time to find out that he changed the timeline just enough so that his parents had a different child instead of him. He could have seen his alternate brother doing the things he had done.

  • June 2, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    armageddonproductions RE: BIFF

    by Kevin Bosch

    Old Biff didn't die because he stabbed himself. He broke the cane off in the Delorean (leaving the crucial clue for later) hitting himself in the stomach, and getting winded, but it doesn't show that he died because of that hit. The original version of that scene showed Biff collapsing and then fading away, BECAUSE he had changed the timeline and cause himself to no longer exists in 2015 (purportedly because alt-boob-job-Lorraine would've shot him dead at some point in the mid-90s.)

  • June 2, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    This may be the most watchable movie ever made

    by kidicarus

    Seriously, I own the DVDs and have seen the movies an ungodly amount of times, but if it comes out on TNT or TBS or whatever, you have me for the next two hours.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST


    by ryderdvs

  • June 2, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by ryderdvs

    It also starred Stoltz and Thompson.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Met Lea Thompson at the 2009 Hollywood Show...

    by ryderdvs

    Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, James Tolkan (Strickland), and Kevin Pike (Builder of the DeLorean Time Machine and "Bruce" from Jaws) signed a photo of my DeLorean Time Machine Replica. Nice people.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Back To The Future - a salute to mid 80's Reagan attitudes

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    The finale had the family become a bunch of Yuppies with nice stuff, not a care in the world thanks to financial success.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST

    RE: Back to the Future 2 and Biff...

    by keyserSOZE

    I recently read some trivia on BTTF over at IMDb while watching a marathon, and one bit of trivia said that in the original scene after Biff returns the car, they actually shot him disappearing from existence, signifying that in the alternate reality, Biff died before he got to that age. They cut the actual scene, though.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    The biggest problem with Eric Stoltz is...

    by Stegman84

    ...he looks like someone who would have fucked his own mother if given the chance. I call it the Jeff Goldblum Principal. An actor who just has a face that means you can never quite trust them to be pure of heart, as it is all too easy to picture them fucking someone over for their own benefit and personal gain.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    I find it quite disturbing

    by donkey_lasher

    that talkbackers are calling for a 2015 remake. Surely 1985 isn't as backward to us now, as 1955 was back then?

  • June 2, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Agreed with so much above:

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Lea Thompson: Hottie then, hottie now. Love her. So sexy it is ridiculous. BTTF: one of the most fun, rewatchable movies ever made. The trilogy: it gets bumpier in parts 2 and 3, but I still love the whole package, as a package. I've only seen very small bits and pieces of the Stoltz footage, but you can see that he was playing it much more for drama than laughs. Fox did indeed save this movie. But you have to give Eric credit: he is a damn handsome man.

  • June 2, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    And woe to whomever tries to remake this.

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • June 2, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    And one more thing:

    by WriteForTheEdit

    The "Bridge Over the River Kwai" action finale in Part III still makes me giddy with delight. That is one awesome train crash.

  • because they tend to stay younger looking during long shoots

  • June 2, 2011, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Fox, Cruise, Gibson, Stallone...studios love them because

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    they can build smaller sets to compensate.

  • June 2, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    BTTF wil never be remade.

    by MapMan

    Zemeckis has said that once MJF came down with Parkinsons and would not be able to act in a sequel that he would not do it without him. He owns the rights to the characters so no one can do it without him. I'm sure Universal would give him a dumptruck full of money to do a sequel or remake but it's not about the money. Respect.

  • June 2, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Never bought the Stoltz "not setting the right tone" thing

    by mr.underwater

    Only because it's the director's job to make sure the actor is setting the right tone. So, if the actor is playing it too serious, that's the director's fault not the actor's. I think they originally wanted MJF, and initially couldn't figure a way to make the scheduling work. However, during production, MJF's schedule became more flexible (through whatever means) and they went with the actor they originally wanted. I wish they'd just fess up to this, even though it makes them seem a bit sleazy. Because I think it makes them seem more sleazy to keep throwing Stolz under the bus.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:07 p.m. CST

    How much Stoltz footage was filmed?

    by flax

    Enough to release a 'Back to the Future: The Eric Stoltz Cut'? A completely alternative version of the film pieced together from unused footage, a bit like 'Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut'? I imagine there would be quite a few scenes missing, but it would still make for fascinating viewing.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    What DID happen to Marty's "poor" family?

    by Billyeveryteen

    A pissed off spoiled-yuppie-douche returns home, and suddenly has to borrow his sniveling Dad's car? Still, "camping" with other-Jennifer might be fun.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Re: Biff in Part II/PARADOX

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Really? Wouldn't 2015 have just suddenly changed to BiffWorld the minute he went back in time? And I don't care what actually happened or what was cut from the movie, Old Biff looks like he stabbed himself in the gut with the jagged end of his broken cane (never mind the utter paradox of "if Old Biff had gone back to 1955 and changed his past, then he never would have discovered the Delorean in 2015 and therefore never would have gone to the past, thus negating everything Old Biff had done to begin with").</p><p> A lot of the problems with Parts II and III stem from the fact that most of both movies were just padding, since they were both part of the PARADOX script, the actual original sequel to BACK TO THE FUTURE that they had to break up when the 2015 stuff was too expensive to justify in the context of a movie that goes between 2015, an alternate 1985, 1955 (which I don't even think was in the PARADOX script) and 1885. I wish they'd just gone for it, though, because I think it would have been one great sequel instead of two "just okay" sequels that only really get rewatched because everybody loved the fist one so much. Imagine if the first one had been broken up into two movies with Marty unsure whether or not Lorraine would wind up being his mom or if young Doc Brown would be able to get him back to 1985 at the end of Part I, meanwhile, having to pad out the running time with an extended subplot about Lorraine's family or teaching George how to play football or a twenty-minute skateboard chase scene with Biff at an amusement park, and that's pretty much what happened with the sequels.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST


    by slone13

    It doesn't really matter whether you don't buy the Stoltz "not setting the right tone thing". It's a simple fact. Zemeckis has said in an interview on the 25th anniversary DVD that as the director, he had to approach Spielberg (the producer) and essentially say "Uhhhh, boss? We just wasted 5 weeks worth of filming with Stoltz." And as "emperor_was_a_jerk" correctly already said above, Fox's schedule didn't suddenly become more flexible. When everyone realized Stoltz wasn't gonna cut it, Spielberg begged the Family Ties producer to let Fox do double duty filming Ties and BTTF. End of story.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST

    P.S. - Stoltz

    by ArmageddonProductions

    One more thing: I get that Stoltz may not have been right for the role, but if it was just a "tone" issue, why didn't Zemeckis oh, I dunno, DO HIS JOB AS DIRECTOR and work with him to get the right tone?!? Like take him aside and say "Listen, Rocky Dennis, I keep hearing about you telling everybody that this is some kind of fucking 'tragedy', and maybe you didn't get to the part in the script where you trick Biff into smashing his Studebaker into a manure truck and covering himself with cowshit yet, but this is a wacky family comedy sci fi adventure and we're trying to make money here. Time to do what we're paying you to do and make with the goofy shit!"</p><p> Also, and this doesn't get brought up a lot, but the ORIGINAL BACK TO THE FUTURE script wasn't quite as goofy or as optimistic as what ended up on screen, though the ending, in which Marty makes it back to the future and all the world's problems are resolved by COCA-COLA, is kind of out there. If memory serves, either Hill Valley or the entire world gets blown up by nuclear war before Marty and Doc Brown go back in time. Google that shit! So who knows what changes were in place when Stoltz was filming? Maybe he was actually just doing what he was told and everybody decided to go wacky, instead?

  • June 2, 2011, 3:40 p.m. CST


    by slone13

    Dude, you gotta chill out a little. In all my years here at AICN, I don't know if I've ever witnessed someone getting quite so bent out of shape about such unimportant shit. And I know you said you "don't care what actually happened or what was cut from the movie", but the simple fact of the matter is that Old Biff didn't stab himself in the gut with the jagged end of his broken cane. Sorry, just had to throw that in there.

  • June 2, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Re: slone 13/BACK TO THE FUTURE Original Script

    by ArmageddonProductions

    slone 13: er ... I think YOU'RE getting a little bent out of shape; if you're taking anything I've been saying on here with the slightest bit of seriousness, especially with "all your years on AICN" (not something I'd advise boasting about in mixed company) you might possibly need a tail winch to yank that rather large stick out of your ass.</p><p> I stand corrected on the original BACK TO THE FUTURE script, though -- Coca Cola POWERED THE TIME MACHINE, Doc Brown and Marty ran a bootleg video pornography ring out of Doc's lab, Hill Valley was essentially modern-day Cleveland, sans the whimsy and the nuclear explosion was essentially how Marty gets back to the present (at a nuclear testing facility). Also, rock 'n roll is somehow wiped from history.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Lea Thompson is like a fine wine...

    by Kevin D

    ...she just keeps getting better with age. One of the most jaw droppingly gorgeous, sexy and talented women of all time.

  • June 2, 2011, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by slone13

    Wait a minute...what mixed company are we in?? And I'm not sure I'd call what I said "boasting" but now we're just talking semantics. Or maybe that should be "some antics"? Carry on...

  • June 2, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Ah Quint you nailed it!

    by Ruester

    She was probably the first film crush I had as a kid. I blame Lea Thompson in Howard the Duck for every "bad girl with a good heart" that I chased after like a moth to a light bulb since the age of 13.

  • June 2, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Re: Lea Thompson

    by ArmageddonProductions

    She was one of the good ones, that's for sure, but I kept lumping her in with Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore and Madonna of that era as "yeah, yeah, everybody wants to nail her!" She still looks pretty good, but I don't think she'd need that extra makeup to look like Marty's mom today. Come to think of it, neither would Elizabeth Shue (as "old Jennifer"). Sad that Thompson looked her hottest in HOWARD THE DUCK, though ...

  • June 2, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by seasider

    Zemeckis has said on more than one occasion that the Eric Stoltz incident was completely his fault and I don't recall Zemeckis, Gale or Spielberg ever throwing Stoltz under the bus. If anything they praised his acting abilities but he just wasn't giving what they wanted and it became increasingly clear that he had been miscast through no fault of his own. As for MJF, it wasn't that his schedule became more flexible, it was that his Family Ties producer gave him permission to do the movie as long he was doing it around their schedule which meant shooting late at night till the wee hours of the morning and shooting the daytime scenes on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • June 2, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Alternate universe also has Stoltz in Teen Wolf

    by Nem_Wan

    Alternate Stoltz also plays Count Baltar in Richard Hatch's 2003 continuation of the original Battlestar Galactica.

  • It is fantastic. Virtually flawless as pure entertainment.

  • June 2, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I wish Lea Thompson could read this TB and feel the love

    by D.Vader

    And the lust.

  • June 2, 2011, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Fox and Stoltz are such different Actors

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    It's always struck me as odd that they cast Stoltz when they couldn't get MJF to begin with. It seems like if they wanted MJF and couldn't get him, they would look for a "MJF Type." Stoltz isn't that. It's not just the BTTF films. I can't picture either actor in the other actor's roles. You wouldn't cast Fox as the kid in MASK or as the Cylon creating father in CAPRICA. You wouldn't cast Stoltz in Fox's other comedic roles either. There might be some dramas where they might overlap, but even then their approaches would be so completely different. It's like the story about Michael Keaton originally being cast in Jeff Daniels' role in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO. And then Woody Allen changed his mind after shooting for awhile. Why would he cast Keaton in that role to begin with? Nothing about Michael Keaton says "30's Matinee Idol". He has a bit of a Cagney-esque quality and you could see him in a screwball comedy role maybe. But the CAIRO character isn't that kind of actor either. It's just weird.

  • June 2, 2011, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by Meadowe

    sorry I know I've repeated that line from the magazine I've gotten that from a couple of times, but I always thought it was funny. btw do bts pics always have to be movies? cuz maybe someone can dig up some pics of Jeff Yagher (spl?) as tom hanson instead of Johnny Depp on 21 Jump Street. Yes that's right, tom hanson...the name existed in pop culture before 500 days of hummers.

  • But it wasn't that big of a difference when she was replaced for II and III either.

  • June 2, 2011, 10:42 p.m. CST

    sonicriver re: tragedy

    by Keith

    Yes indeed. And where has that other Marty gone? (The kid raised by the affluent parents.)

  • June 2, 2011, 10:52 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "One in which Marty goes back in time to find out that he changed the timeline just enough so that his parents had a different child instead of him. " Of course, given the disruptions to 1955 that occurred, this is EXACTLY what we ought to expect, i.e. the chances of Marty being born in the changed timeline (and indeed his siblings) are infinitesimal. In a narrative universe where it's possible to change the future, the mere act of time travel ought to be sufficient to set the future off on a significantly different course, because of chaos effects. BTTF's metaphysics are, frankly, a total mess, but nobody really cares much, because it's a comedy, and a really, really good one.

  • June 2, 2011, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Re: misterdarcy

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Agreed! You can sit here for hours and nitpick the things that are out of whack with the time travel physics behind BACK TO THE FUTURE and the sequels (and I believe I did just that, sigh ...), but it's like nitpicking the equally-abyssmal physics behind TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR 2, or BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, because the movies manage to be entertaining enough that you don't actually ponder the mistakes until years later, once the initial "wow" factor wears off. And even then, you can still go, "Eh, it's still a good movie!"</p><p> As far as the physics behind BACK TO THE FUTURE are concerned, though, I submit that there's actually some merit to it. You can't change time, it's an immutable dimension. Once you go forward a second, the last second is gone, destroyed by Stephen King walnut Pac-Men, whatever. In BTTF Part II, Doc Brown explains that, when history is changed, a new timeline is created that branches off from the original in some way. So, every time they fuck something up in the past, present or future, they create a new universe. How they manage to get back to the original (or the one where Marty has a bitchin' monster truck, anyway) at some point is anyone's guess. The only people that remain constant seem to be Marty and Doc Brown. In other words, there's no "other them", just "other universes" that get created around them. The whole of creation is their prison bitch. In Universe A, the shitty universe, Marty and Doc Brown are no longer there and George McFly is still one step up from a disability check-collecting gimp. In Universe B, George McFly is a best-selling author and Marty gets to go off and have sex with Jennifer on the camping trip with his buddy Flea. In Universe C, Biff has turned most of the free world into Las Vegas/Detroit. But somehow, Marty and Doc Brown are unchanged in any way. They've created at least four or five complete realities for themselves but only got to live one of them.

  • June 3, 2011, 2:05 a.m. CST


    by Keith

    "How they manage to get back to the original (or the one where Marty has a bitchin' monster truck, anyway) at some point is anyone's guess. " Yes indeed. In a branching timeline structure it shouldn't be possible to get back to your original timeline. BTTF seems to pick and choose between at least three separate models along the way, certainly when considered as a trilogy. The first movie is primarily a rewritable timeline structure, where you actually alter the future from which you came rather than create a new branch. (If this weren't the case, Marty couldn't endanger his own existence.) Yet there are moments that use tropes from single timeline loop stories, such as when Goldie Wilson gets the idea to run for mayor from Marty, and Marty seems to be a major factor in the birth of rock and roll. The Terminators I shall leave aside here. I am notorious for my views that T1 is metaphysically excellent and T2 is incompatible with it. But that discussion's getting pretty old now. I actually love Bill and Ted's...the police station scene is a wonderful piece of deliberate bootstrapping, a genuine moment of class in what is a great fun movie. As an aside, is it a general rule that we're more forgiving of inconsistency and implausibility in comedy than in other genre types?

  • It's funny you wrote that, because everytime I think of Eric Stoltz I think of him as the creepy guy who molested his own daughter in The Butterfly Effect, and the creepy teacher getting head from his student Shannyn Sossamon in Rules of Attraction.

  • June 3, 2011, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Re: misterdarcy/Stoltz

    by ArmageddonProductions

    misterdarcy: Absolutely! Though it's not really clear whether BACK TO THE FUTURE is a "comedy" or just "light-hearted". The science of the original flick seems sound (and is integral to the plot), until you start questioning why Marty alone is immune to the changes in time and somehow remembers the original timeline he erased. But in the mid-Eighties, every lower-middle-class kid dreamt of somehow overcoming adversity and the snobby rich kids and getting a bitchin' ride, a hot girlfriend and some kind of slam dunk against a bully (see also: WEIRD SCIENCE, THE KARATE KID or anything with William Zabka as the bad guy, TEEN WOLF, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, THE GOONIES, LUCAS, RUDY, BETTER OFF DEAD, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, LOST BOYS and, possibly, HARDBODIES), so the initial reaction was always "Hey, wow, what a great idea!"</p><p> The worst part is, they COULDN'T remake (or even initially release) BACK TO THE FUTURE today. I think the world's grown too cynical for a clean-cut sci-fi fantasy about some n'er-do-well going back in time to Squaresville and accidentally fixing his entire future. They pretty much already tried riffing on it with HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, which got everything that made BACK TO THE FUTURE right absolutely dead wrong, but it's probably not as symptomatic of bad filmmaking as it is being "This is what a BACK TO THE FUTURE remake would have to be to appeal to today's kids." Pretty sad.</p><p> I don't think Stoltz would have been completely wrong for the role -- he essentially pulled a McFly in SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL -- but he comes across as more proactive and less reactive, which is what Fox nailed so well. I agree that he probably would have come off like he was trying to conceal his mommy-boner for Lorraine every time she tried to jump on him, which probably would have edged the movie in an uncomfortable direction, or that he was secretly plotting to murder -- or talk his dad into murdering -- Biff. But wouldn't having a mopey blue collar kid go back to the ultra-optimistic Fifties and come back with a better attitude and the rich stuff have been more compelling? Fox's version doesn't really go through any kind of change, he comes back and he's still worried about nailing his girlfriend, his ride and getting his band going. Who knows? On the plus side, they'll hopefully never attempt BACK TO THE FUTURE IV: QUEST FOR THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

  • June 3, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Re: BTTF will never be remade.

    by ryderdvs

    Universal does own the rights to BTTF - Not Zemeckis and Gale. This is why they agreed to come back and do the sequels. They knew that if they didn't, Universal would simply hire someone else to. They explain this in the Q + A session on the DVDs.

  • June 3, 2011, 8:06 a.m. CST

    FUN FACT: Lorraine's 1955 house in Pasadena...

    by ryderdvs

    is the same one used for Scott Howard's house in Teen Wolf.

  • June 3, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Shannyn Sossamon was really hot

    by Bobo_Vision

    But lately she looks like she suffers from an eating disorder. Her collarbone is wayyyy too prominent.

  • June 3, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Fox versus Stoltz

    by Keith

    I think the key difference is that Fox is better at playing gregarious, extroverted characters, whereas Stoltz specializes more in introverts. Stoltz's mannerisms suggest thoughtful worry, that he's the kind of guy who'll spend a lot of time on his own thinking things through. Fox suggests he'll deal with problems in a different way: he can convey stress, but he comes across as a guy who'll seek decisive action, and do so by engaging others as part of his plan. Stoltz is a thinker, but Fox is a leader. Fox was clearly better-suited to the role of Marty McFly.

  • June 3, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Stoltz looked like he was really making Marty McFly a "character"

    by Bobo_Vision

    And almost a caricature. Fox played Marty like a real person who just happened to have a weird name. Stoltz seemed to picture him as bit of an eccentric weirdo.