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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Michael J. Fox on Back to the Future Reboot: 'Do what you want. It’s your movie. I got paid already'

Like Citizen Kane or Casablanca, Back to the Future remains an untouchable classic.

By Josh Weiss

Like Citizen Kane or Casablanca, Back to the Future remains an untouchable classic that does not require the remake/reboot treatment. You simply cannot improve on perfection, and what's more: It would be considered both heresy of the highest order and an impossible fool's errand to even try. Every single aspect of the original film — from the writing of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale to the pairing of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd — was lightning in a bottle, the kind of thing that comes along once in a generation, if you're lucky.

Nevertheless, Hollywood's gonna Hollywood by wringing those sweet, sweet legacy IPs for every last drop of box office cash. In 2020, for instance, Spider-Man star Tom Holland revealed he had taken part in early "conversations" regarding a potential remake of Back to the Future (a viral deepfake video recasting Holland as Marty McFly and Robert Downey Jr. as Doc Brown dropped online not long before). 

RELATED: Michael J. Fox Has Some Extremely Valid Thoughts on Back to the Future’s Oedipal Undertones

Thankfully, it seems like those talks never moved beyond the amorphous conceptual phase.

"I don’t think it needs to be," Michael J. Fox said during a recent interview with Variety while promoting Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, the new Apple TV+ documentary about his life and career. "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."

Will Back to the Future ever be rebooted?

At the same time, Fox isn't rabidly protective of the franchise's integrity and recognizes the simple fact that the entertainment industry will do as it pleases — with or without his support. "I’m not fanatical," Fox added. "Do what you want. It’s your movie. I got paid already."

When asked if there had ever been discussions regarding a fourth chapter in the time-traveling saga following Marty and Doc's adventure in the Old West, Fox answered: "I’m sure somebody thought about it. 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."

Lloyd, meanwhile, is totally on board for a sequel, "but I think Bob Zemeckis and [producer Steven] Spielberg felt that they told the story in the three episodes,” he said. "But if somebody has a brilliant idea that would justify a fourth film it might happen."

The complete Back to the Future trilogy is available to purchase in several iterations from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. A musical stage play inspired by the 1985 classic opens on Broadway this summer. Click here for more info on performances and tickets.

Want more sci-fi offerings? Head over to Peacock for Galaxy of Terror, Waterworld, Face/Off, The Tuxedo, Hulk, Doom, Land of the Lost, Oblivion, The Wolverine, The Invisible Man, M3GAN, and more!