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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale talk new Back to the Future ideas as cast & crew reunite 35 years later

By Josh Weiss
Back to the Future

Great scott! Just like he did with The Goonies, Frozen's Josh Gad hosted a second virtual reunion for the cast and crew of another 1980s touchstone: Back to the Future. Similar to Goonies, it was also released in the summer of '85 and became an instant cinematic classic.

The digital event — meant to benefit Project Hope — brought back Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (Doctor Emmett Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine McFly), Robert Zemeckis (director/co-writer), Bob Gale (co-writer), Alan Silvestri (composer), Mary Steenburgen (Clara Clayton), Elisabeth Shue (Jennifer Parker), and Huey Lewis (singer/co-writer on "The Power of Love").

Sadly, executive producer Steven Spielberg did not make an appearance.

Naturally, Gad had to ask the question we were all thinking: Will there ever be a fourth Back to the Future movie? Gale and Zemeckis have been adamant about not continuing the series over the years (and rightly so!), but were prompted to offer up a hypothetical pitch for where they'd send Doc and Marty on their next adventure.

"It would have to be that [they] find out we're thinking of making another Back to the Future movie, and they come back to stop us from doing such a crazy thing," Gale said.

"If I had an idea that I could've pitched to Bob with a straight face, we would've made it," Zemeckis added. "I have no answer to that question."

Watch below:

Later in the stream, Gad brought in BTTF super-fan, J.J. Abrams. The filmmaker wasted no time in asking folks for their opinions on Rick and Morty — a show that draws its core concept from the relationship between Doc and Marty.

Fox admitted that he's never seen it, while Gale said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

The reunion closed out with a lovely quarantine performance of "The Power of Love" by the cast of the Back to the Future musical, which Zemeckis described as a "companion to the movie."

Back to the Future reunion

Make sure you stay until the very end to see an appearance from Claudia Wells, who originally played Jennifer in the first film before she was replaced by Shue in the subsequent movies. Wells' parting ways with the franchise didn't stem from any ill will. Rather, she made the tough call to bow out of Part II, so as to take care of her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer at the time.

"This is the third Zoom meeting I've missed, I don't understand," Wells joked in the post-credits stinger. "Darnit, I wanted to meet Elisabeth Shue and see everybody." 

She went on to thank first responders and all the people undertaking acts of kindness in these uncertain times. "It's like Doc Brown always said: 'If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything,'" the actress concluded.

Who will Gad reunite next? Only time (and traveling through it) will tell!