Eric Stoltz’ ‘Back to the Future’ Footage & Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly Again!

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

eric stoltz back to the future Eric Stoltz Back to the Future Footage & Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly Again!

Every Back to the Future fan worth his or her weight in…uh, Back to the Future knowledge knows that Michael J. Fox was not the first actor cast in the role of teenage rascal Marty McFly. Due to a scheduling conflict—Fox was in Family Ties at the time—actor Eric Stoltz was hired instead, and it took five whole weeks of shooting to realize what a mistake that was.

After some schedule finagling, Michael J. Fox was hired for real (he filmed Family Ties during the day and Back to the Future at night) and the entire Eric Stoltz fiasco was nothing but a bad dream and a story spread by word of mouth to fans of the time-traveling film series. For years, that’s all it was: a story. Until now, there was no video evidence to speak of, at least not for public consumption.

However, now footage of and commentary about Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly are just some of the extras for the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy, which is being released later this month.

The Hollywood Reporter has an early look at the footage. Check it out:

In the clip, director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis says:

“[Eric Stoltz] is a magnificent actor, but his comedy sensibilities were very different from what I’d written with [co-writer] Bob [Gale]. So I had to make this horrific [casting replacement] decision which was very heartbreaking for everybody. But luckily, I was able to convince the studio to let me reshoot the five weeks of work [with Michael J. Fox].”

The few clips shown of Eric Stoltz as the Nike-loving, guitar-playing, skateboarding Marty McFly are silent save for music, so it’s hard to judge just how good or bad he would’ve been in the role. Nevertheless, it is incredibly strange just seeing Stoltz onscreen instead of Fox, in what appears to be shot-for-shot the same movie we know and love – it’s like watching a Bizarro version of Back to the Future. Maybe the television show Fringe can somehow incorporate the recovered footage into their alternaverse.

Fans probably already know this, but Eric Stoltz wasn’t the only thing jettisoned from Back to the Future. Originally, Doc Brown’s time machine wasn’t going to be the most awesome and useless car ever, also known as the DeLorean. Rather, it was going to be a device attached to a refrigerator that the user had to climb into before being exploded by a nuclear blast. This logically sound idea was scrapped over fears that children everywhere would start climbing into refrigerators, but like Stoltz as Marty McFly, it eventually saw the light of day (more or less) in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Hence the phrase “nuked the fridge.”

Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly Again

In other Back to the Future news, to promote the Scream Awards later this month, SpikeTV has recreated the original Back to the Future teaser trailer with the help of an aging Michael J. Fox. Check out the original teaser and the SpikeTV version below for comparison:

Michael J. Fox has still got it!

And last, but not least, keep an eye out for news about the Back to the Future episodic videogame being developed by Tell Tale Games (Sam and Max, Tales of Monkey Island) and co-written by the original film’s writer, Bob Gale. Christopher Lloyd is even returning to provide the voice for the brilliant but neurotic Doc Brown—as if anyone else could ever be capable.

Back to the Future TellTale Games Marty McFly and Doc Brown Eric Stoltz Back to the Future Footage & Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly Again!

The Scream Awards are premiering on SpikeTV October 19th 8/9C, where the cast of Back to the Future will reunite for the first time onscreen since 1990. The original Back to the Future film returns to theaters in over forty cities on October 23rd and 25th. The Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy is being released on October 26th. It’s a great time to be a Back to the Future fan.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. You could view these clips before. Easter egg stylee. Still neat though.

  2. I don’t know if I were 23 in 1987, if I would’ve seen “Back to the Future” based on that original trailer. Not until Marty spoke and the epic music of Huey Lewis and the News came on did I find the trailer interesting.

    Ben: I believe it is the “Fringe” episode “Peter” that they show the Observers in the alternaverse and they are leaving a movie theatre. The marquee says that they just saw “Back to the Future” starring Eric Stoltz. I couldn’t believe how intricate they had gotten with alternaverse details until I saw that. It was great!

    • Oh that’s cool! Now that you say that, I vaguely remember it. I need to go back and watch season two.

      • Also, I actually watched the old teaser trailer and was impressed with the simple creativity of it, which is sorely missing in most trailers today.

      • I wondered if anybody else had caught that and then I was reading a review for the episode on some website and they mentioned it. The reviewer also said something akin to ‘in the alternverse, Michael J. Fox might be setting fire to his Cylon daughter.’ Something like that… it was funny.

  3. Do we have a complete cast list?

  4. They should start making teaser trailers like they used to…

  5. And Stoltz went on to do “Anaconda”. Awesome career.

    • To be fair, he also did Pulp Fiction.

      • to be more fair: Caprica :)

        • To be even more fair: killing zoe 8-).

          • that is a classic for sure

            • I named my pit bull zoe after that movie.

          • To be Even more fairer he also was good in Some Kind of Wonderful and Mask

            • are u a dude?

  6. why not take the guy from V called “Chad Decker” (Scott Wolf) he looks EXACLTY the same!!!1

    • because scott wolf is a pansy

  7. That was kind of awesome. At the same time I always feels disturbed everytime I see Fox now it’s just an uncomfortable feeling even in this you can still see him having problems. I will say his short time on Rescue me was awesome as well as his appearance on Scrubs.

    • yea, he was on Rachel Ray and you could tell that the Parkinson’s disaese was progressing. It’s been great seeing him in limited roles from time to time. This makes me want to rent all three Back to the Futures and have a Back to the Future night.

  8. I get sad when I see Michael J Fox now.

    Such a gifted actor getting betrayed by his own body due to an awful disease.

    I can hear the slur in Fox’s voice due to Parkinson’s and how hard he is trying to fight that slur from becoming prominent.

    Its the same feeling I get when I see Muhammad Ali and see the tremors wracking his once graceful form.

  9. YES!!!!!! I will be there this Sat. with my Ironette girls from Iron Man 2 arriving in my Delorean in honor of the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary! I am STOKED beyong STOKED!!! :D can’t wait!