Found! Never-before-seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 14, 2012

Before Michael J. Fox hopped into the famed DeLorean and went Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis shot five weeks of footage with a young Eric Stoltz as his parentally obsessed time traveler.

Director John Frankenheimer used to say that casting is 65 percent of directing. The right actor can form a bond with the audience that supersedes the quality of the filmmaking and elevates the whole enterprise. The flip side of that is that if a director picks the wrong actor, that choice—one of a million a director must make—can sink it.

And that was the predicament facing Zemeckis while he was shooting his first big-budget sci-fi movie: Eric Stoltz was the wrong guy.

Of course, history—and hundreds of millions of dollars—would prove Zemeckis right. Stoltz's five weeks of McFlydom would become Hollywood lore; he joined a list of actors replaced by people who'd make their roles famous, including Jon Finch as Alien's Kane, Genevieve Bujold as Star Trek: Voyager's Janeway and James Remar as Aliens' Hicks.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)

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