Fans can celebrate the 25th anniversary, but there aren't enough creative gigawatts to jumpstart a fourth "Back to the Future" sequel.
Revising “Back to the Future’s” past? Yes. A sequel? No.
The “Back to the Future” trilogy’s director Robert Zemeckis, star Christopher Lloyd and screenwriter Bob Gale agree they don’t mind a return visit to the past – but only to celebrate this year’s 25th anniversary of the beloved franchise’s debut. Otherwise, they say there just aren’t enough gigawatts to get them to jumpstart a fourth sequel.
“I think three is a good number to end on,” Zemeckis, who’s long resisted reviving the franchise, told PopcornBiz. “Three is enough.”
“The story is closed,” confirmed Gale. “When Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinsons we said 'Come on. Who wants to see a ‘Back to the Future’ movie if Michael J. Fox isn't it?' I don't. He didn't. Nobody does.”
“There's always talk, you know, but we'll see,” said Lloyd, who still revels in the on-screen chemistry he shared with Fox. “It was just there. Like any wonderful relationship, it just existed. We didn't have to work for it or worry about it. It was inherent, you know? And just great casting.”
Instead, appropriately, the team is content to celebrate by looking backward, not forward. “We're going to go to New York to do the kick off on the 26th of October for the big Blu-Ray trilogy release,” said Zemeckis. That specific date falls exactly 25 years after the day Marty McFly departs 1985 Doc Brown’s time-traveling Delorean in the first film, and Gale has plans for more film-inspired occasions.
“In Los Angeles from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12 there are a group of events called weregoingback.com put together by a whole bunch of ‘Back to the Future’ fans,” said the screenwriter, noting those dates correspond to Marty’s weeklong stay in 1955. “They're going to go to a bunch of different filming locations and a lot of the people that worked on the movie in various capacities are going to be at some of these different events.”
Zemeckis – who went on the helm further tech-breaking classics including “Forrest Gump” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” – said he’s thrilled with the enduring popularity of the “BTTF” films. “I feel proud. I mean, who would've ever thought it? It's great!”
“The whole series was so full of kind of an optimism and excitement for life, for adventure, and discovery,” said Lloyd. “All things that I admire in people. And the opportunity to bring all of that to life was a wonderful experience. For people who still love to go to the movie, more generations will see it – after 25 years it's an extraordinary, extraordinary experience.”
Gale admits he’s surprised how long the series has resonated with audiences. “It still delights new generations, all the way to the kids that live around the corner from me who want to come over and see my hoverboard and all my props.”
As for their own future, Zemeckis is at work on a 3-D remake of “Yellow Submarine” (“It's a blast,” he says. “I'm reliving my time with The Beatles”); Lloyd appeared paying tribute to Doc Brown in "Piranha 3D" and will next appear in "The Witches of Oz" as the famed Wizard; and Gale’s wrapping a popular stint writing comic book story arcs for Amazing Spider-Man.