The 3rd of July will officially mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Back to the Future (1985). In order to celebrate this I have compiled a list of some of the most interesting facts about the trilogy as a tribute of its success and awesomeness. Without further ado, here are 20 things that you (probably did not know about the Back to The Future trilogy:
P.S. I hope you will enjoy this post. The facts are courtesy of: IMDB, IGN, Mental Floss, Shortlist, Splitsider, Jackincongruente and Ranker.
1. Sid Sheinberg, Chairman and COO of Universal Pictures at the time, proposed the first movie's title to be changed to Spaceman From Pluto, as he thought the title Back To The Future would not appeal to the public. He was forced to back down when producer Steven Spielberg thanked him for his "joke memo".
2. Biff Tannen was named after a Universal Pictures executive named Ned Tanen who had been particularly rude to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale during a script meeting about the film I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978).
3. In the early drafts of Back to the Future (1985), the time machine was made out of an old refrigerator (and even a tank was considered as a possible choice at some point). Moreover, Einstein - Doc Brown's dog, was originally a chimpanzee.
4. One of Biff's goons in the first film is the young and fresh Billy Zane in his first screen role. He even reprised his role in Back to the Future Part II (1989).
5. There's a tribute to Stanley Kubrick in Doc's garage. The amplifier has a CRM114 label, which is the name of a critical piece of radio equipment in Dr. Strangelove (1964).
6. The judge at the band auditions who tells Marty he's "too darn loud" is actually Huey Lewis himself. Moreover, Huey Lewis and the News contributed the song "The Power of Love" to the soundtrack of the first film. This was their first #1 single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earned them a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
7. The script of Back to the Future (1985) was rejected over 40 times by every major studio.
8. Princess Diana attended the London premiere of Back to the Future in 1985.
9. Ronald Reagan was offered the role of Hill Valley's mayor in Back to the Future Part III (1990). While he did not accept the offer, Reagan was a huge fan of the trilogy and quoted Doc Brown in his 1986 State of the Union: "Where we're going, we don't need roads."
10. Elijah Wood made his film debut in Back to the Future Part II (1989) as the kid playing the arcade game Wild Gunman in the Cafe 80s.
11. ZZ Top had an impromptu concert on the set of Back to the Future Part III (1990)
12. Back to the Future Part II (1989) is the first film to show interaction between the same actor on the screen twice as two different characters.
13. Back to the Future Part III (1990) was filmed in Sonora, California. The producers were able to use the land rent-free as long as they left the buildings there. They agreed to leave everything except the Clock Tower. Interestingly, on August 10, 1996, a lightning bolt struck the town and it burned down.
14. Three actresses played Jennifer Parker - Marty's girlfriend in the trilogy - Claudia Wells, Melora Hardin and Elisabeth Shue. Wells was the original casting choice and she took part in Back to the Future (1985), but had to drop out for the sequels due to personal reasons, so the role was recast and Shue replaced her. However, Wells was at first unavailable to shoot even the first movie, so Hardin was chosen as her replacement, but because she was taller than Michael J. Fox she was let go.
15. There is going to be an official Back to the Future Day which is going to take place on the 21st October this year.
16. Johnny Depp auditioned for the role of Marty McFly. Screenwriter and producer Bob Gale had this to say about Johnny Depp’s audition: “I looked through the notes, and I said, ‘Geez, I don’t even remember that we read Johnny Depp!' So whatever he did, it wasn’t all that memorable, I guess!”
17. Michael J. Fox was the first choice for the part of Marty, but due to his obligation to the sitcom Family Ties, he was initially unable to take the job. Consequently, Robert Zemeckis opted for his second choice, actor Eric Stoltz. However, after five weeks of shooting, Zemeckis, Spielberg and Gale were worried that Stoltz's performance was dramatic, rather than comedic, so thankfully by that time Michael J. Fox had become available.
18. The person with a hat that drives the truck which Marty McFly grabs to get to school in the beginning of the first film, is actually Steven Spielberg.
19. In Back to the Future Part II (1989), Crispin Glover didn't reprise his role as George McFly. He asked for too much money so the character was largely written out, with Geoffrey Weissman playing Future George. Glover tried to sue Steven Spielberg and the other producers for using his likeness without permission.
20. Renowned scientist Carl Sagan considered Back to the Future Part II (1989) the greatest time travel movie ever made. He praised the accuracy in handling the multiple time lines as what would really happen if time travel were possible. Another fun fact is that in Back to the Future: The Game, Carl Sagan is the alias used by Doc Brown when visiting Hill Valley in 1931.