Back to the Future II was an instant classic on release 26 years ago but its vision of a future full of hoverboards and self-lacing shoes has sadly not come to pass. Back To The Future Day – October 21 2015, the date Doc Brown and Marty McFly venture to in their souped-up DeLorean in the series’ second film – sadly didn’t live up to our lofty expectations. Here’s some trivia that will have your brain racing at speeds of 88mph…
1) Writer and producer Richard Gale formulated the film idea when he found his grandfather’s yearbook in his garage. Gale wondered if he would have been a friend of his ancestor in school, who he described as a ‘nerd’ and the film blossomed from this chance idea.
2) The time machine was originally conceived as a refrigerator. Back to the Future’s initial idea for a time-travelling fridge never took off… but Spielberg pinched the idea of a super-fridge for Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which Jones’ survives a nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator.
3) Before Christopher Lloyd landed the role of kooky professor Doc Brown, other actors including John Lithgow, Dudley Moore and Jeff Goldblum were considered for the part.
4) Einstein, Doc’s canine companion, was originally planned to be a chimpanzee.
5) Michael J. Fox who played the time-travelling teen is actually three years older than his on-screen father, Crispin Glover.
6) The first film produced a remarkably quick turnaround from the start of shooting to the film’s release – a mere ten weeks.
7) If you watch the film closely you can see that Crispin Glover had to dub some of his lines in post-production. This was due to him losing his voice during filming.
8) The High School judge who deems Marty and his band ‘too darn loud’ is none other than Huey Lewis, who contributed two songs to the soundtrack.
9) Crispin Glover attempted to model his portrayal of Marty’s Dad, George, on actor Marlon Brando. Safe to say, we got minimal Godfather vibes from the High School nerd.
10) Early screenings of the film prompted fears about animal cruelty when Doc sends his dog (not chimpanzee) back in the DeLorean in a test run. Test audiences audibly gasped thinking the dog had perished in its maiden time-travelling voyage.
11) The school which was featured in Back to the Future, as Hill Valley High was a real school called Whittier High. The school was attended by future US President Richard Nixon in his teenage years.
12) Gale and Zemeckis did not plan to follow the film wiuth a sequel. After being told that the studio was going to create a sequel with or without their input, the pair decided to get involved.
13) Speaking of the sequel – initial plans for it were to send McFly back to the 1960s. Gale said, “George McFly would have been a college professor, Lorraine is a flower child. Let’s do this stuff in the ’60s and see what we could do with that.”
14) Although Robert Zemeckis loves Back to The Future II, it’s executive producer Steven Spielberg does not think highly of it. He compared it to Temple of Doom in the Indiana Jones franchise, citing it as a dip in form between his preferred installments, I and III.
15) The original script was rejected over 40 times by several major studios, Gale told an interviewer in 2010.
16) Back To The Future II and III were shot back to back over the course of 11 months in 1989. The nature of filming two sequels at the same time was revolutionary for the industry, which The Hobbit emulated in its three-part prequel to Lord of The Rings.
17) Speaking of Hobbits, Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings) made his big screen debut in the second film. He is one of the children playing in the futuristic arcade.
18) Christopher Lloyd stated that he always wanted to do one more movie, in which Marty and Doc Brown time-travel back to Ancient Rome.
19) The ledge on the clock tower that Doc broke in Back to the Future (1985) is still broken in 2015.
21) U.S. President Ronald Reagan was offered a role in Back To The Future III as the mayor of Hill Valley. The politician started his career in the entertainment business and acting. He even quoted the immortal line “where we’re going, we don’t need roads” in a political address in 1986.
22) The 1955 Doc states that his future self might have landed in the Dark Ages and been burned as a heretic. However, it’s shown throughout the trilogy that the DeLorean can only travel through time and not space, so the 1985 Doc would have landed in California in the Dark Ages (circa 1000-1500 A.D.), at which time Christianity was unknown to the locals. (Yup, someone did indeed figure that out…)
23) Despite indications from Christopher Lloyd that he would be open to the idea of reprising his role of Doc Brown for a fourth film, Robert Zemeckis has indicated that he has no intention or interest in a new instalment. He lauded the franchise’s three-part structure and deemed four to be ‘boring’
24) Crispin Glover (George McFly) did not appear in either sequel due to a contract dispute. The filmmakers found a way around this and used old prosthetics and camera trickery to cast a new actor as Marty’s father. It led to a court case which Glover won $765,000 for after they used his likeness without permission.