Back to the Future is obviously a classic. Everything from the theme song to the orange puffy vest worn by Michael J. Fox have been easily recognizable icons of the film for decades. For a film that’s so much fun to watch, there were some odd moments behind the scenes, and, now, actress Lea Thompson gives us some insight into what one of those was like.
By now, most people who are Back to the Future fans know that actor Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly in the film. Lea Thompson reveals to Hollywood Reporter that she believes having Stoltz replaced messed with those scenes of the film where the other actors were actually performing opposite him. And, those scenes are different than the ones shot with Fox for another, less apparent reason. Well, what’s wrong with that? At least they didn’t leave scenes in that clearly showed Stoltz doing his Marty McFly thing, while we were all told that Alex P. Keaton was going to be our time traveling teen, right? Turns out it’s not so simple.
No matter the role, she says, if you switch actors in a part, each person is going to have his or her own take on it. And, what naturally follows, for Thompson anyway, is that the performances of those around the actor will change accordingly. Every actor acts with every other actor differently.
Because four weeks of filming were completed when Eric Stoltz was replaced, it was difficult enough to get the studio to approve reshoots on all that work. So, they cut some corners and used scenes in the final movie that actually include work that was finished with Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly, even though it would take an eagle-eyed viewer looking for the differences between Stoltz and Michael J. Fox to notice it.
This is interesting news. What Lea Thompson is actually saying is that the movie might have turned out differently if the filmmakers had reshot all the scenes that they filmed with Eric Stoltz, instead of shoe-horning in some of his work to make the process a little easier.
But what does this mean? Do we not have the Back to the Future we really want? Do we not have the Back to the Future we really deserve? I’m so confused now. I mean, honestly, a huge portion of my childhood just exploded in my face. I might not even be able to sleep now. It’s like a nightmare, people! Dammit, I guess we’ll all have to go back and re-watch the first film. Lucky for us, it’s the perfect day to do that, anyway.