In a bleak movie universe where everything is up for grabs in the form of a remake or a reboot, one movie franchise will remain untouched, and unsullied, and that franchise is Back to the Future. The year 2015 is an important year for BTTF, as it’s the 30th anniversary of the original movie and the setting for the first act of Back to the Future Part II. And although flying cars, self-drying clothes, and hoverboards have yet to come to pass, we, as a culture, are super-obsessed with the 80s and movie sequels in the 3-D. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that co-writer and director Robert Zemeckis, in another act of prescience, made it so that a remake of Back to the Future can’t happen till after he’s dead.
While talking to The Telegraph, Zemeckis was asked about whether or not he’d give his blessing to any re-makers of Back to the Future. Such a thing would not be unusual. Wes Craven and John Carpenter have lent their names to remakes based on their films, and James Cameron’s been carrying water for Terminator: Genisys. But nope, for Zemeckis, the matter of a Future remake falls within a very specific parameter.
Oh, God no. That can’t happen until both Bob and I are dead. And then I’m sure they’ll do it, unless there’s a way our estates can stop it.
I mean, to me, that’s outrageous. Especially since it’s a good movie. It’s like saying ‘Let’s remake Citizen Kane. Who are we going to get to play Kane?’ What folly, what insanity is that? Why would anyone do that?
Evidently, Zemeckis and co-screenwriter Bob Gale had a clause added to their original contract in 1984 that no remake or sequel can be made without their say so. At least until they’re both dead and gone. At which point, party on! Undoubtedly, Universal Studios will have casting notices for the new Marty McFly and the new Doc Brown posted to casting notices within weeks. Look for Paul W.S. Anderson to write and direct (probably).
Zemeckis’ next film, The Walk, about Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, will be in theaters everywhere on October 2. And it’s worth noting that at 64 years young, if there’s anyone out there desperately wanting that Back to the Future remake, they’re still probably going to have to wait a while.