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SYFY WIRE Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson hopes daughter (and dog?!) get a chance to go 'Back to The Future' in a musical movie adaptation

By Vanessa Armstrong
Back to the Future - Lorraine

Though she's had a slew of great roles, perhaps Lea Thompson is best known for playing Lorraine Baines McFly, Marty’s mom in Back to the Future. It’s been 35(!) years since she first played that character, and while murmurings of a reboot or another sequel have swirled through the rumor mill ever since, nothing to date has come to fruition. On the London stage, however, the characters created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have gotten a reprise in Back to the Future: The Musical. And while the theatrical performance has been put on hold because of the pandemic, some — including Lea Thompson herself — have been speculating whether the musical version might make its way to the big screen.

In an interview with Movieweb, Thompson, who is currently unattached to any potential BTTF films, said she’s “pretty sure” Universal is looking to make the musical into a feature film —though she admits she doesn’t know for certain. Her uncertainty, however, didn’t hold her back from sharing what she’d like to see in a potential adaptation. For starters: her daughter, actress Zoey Deutch (Zombieland: Double Tap, Vampire Academy).

“I would hope my daughter Zoey would get [an] audition for the Lorraine part,” Thompson said, after acknowledging she would be too old to take on that role again. “I think that would be awesome. I’d be all for it. I’m not sure what her opinion would be. But she is a really good singer. She sang in The Politician, and she’s a great actress. So I think it would be a funny meta thing to do. They could put Michael Fox’s son in it. And they could put my dog in it. And then they’ll let me direct it. If Bob Zemeckis doesn’t want to, I could direct it, so that would be fun.”

Zoey Deutch and Lea Thompson 

Having the real-life children of the OG Marty and Lorraine take on these roles does have a certain kismet about it, especially in a movie about time travel. And Thompson has over a decade of directing experience (most recently for a 2020 episode of Stargirl), which makes her more qualified than many to take over if Zemeckis wouldn’t want to helm again.

But let's say we do end up getting a Back to the Future musical film, and Thompson doesn't get a chance to direct, perhaps there could still be hope that she’ll make it on the screen in some form. Maybe she could be Lorraine's mom in the 1950s, for example? If Deutch does play Lorraine, that would make it a true, meta-infused family affair. 

And as for her dog being in a potential adaptation? Thompson didn’t share in the interview her pet’s acting or singing experience, but given the pup is part of an acting family, chances are he or she will be a welcome addition to any reprise. Having Doc Brown’s faithful companion, Einstein, take part in a musical number, for example, would be one for the ages. 

(Speaking of music from Back to the Future, on this BTTF Day, please take a moment to celebrate Eddie Van Halen's contribution to the timeless franchise.)