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Summary

  • A Back to the Future remake would risk spoiling the legacy of the original trilogy & is unnecessary.
  • Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd’s iconic roles would be impossible to replace in any remake.
  • Taking BTTF out of the 1980s would destroy its charm, as the original is still as enjoyable as ever.

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There have been plenty of rumors about a potential Back to the Future reboot or remake over the years, but there are a few key reasons why this would be a bad idea. The original Back to the Future is an undeniable sci-fi classic, and it has become synonymous with 1980s cinema. The whole trilogy helped reshape the time travel subgenre, but this doesn’t mean that more movies are necessary. Hollywood can’t stop remaking and rebooting old material, but some movies would be best left alone.

Any attempt at a Back to the Future remake would risk spoiling the legacy of the original trilogy, and there is no real need to reboot such popular classics. Hollywood studios could be tempted by the potential box office returns, but this isn’t a good enough reason. Like all remakes, a Back to the Future remake would have to figure out how to honor the original while still bringing fresh and interesting ideas to the table. In the case of Back to the Future, this could be nearly impossible.

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8 Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd Would Be Impossible To Replace

Back to the Future struck gold with their casting

Doc Brown looking shocked at Marty in Back to the Future

Back to the Future almost had a different cast, as the filmmakers considered plenty of actors for the roles of Doc Brown and Marty McFly. Ben Stiller and Jeff Goldblum could have been the stars, but thankfully Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were eventually chosen. Their brilliant on-screen relationship is part of what makes the movies so watchable and entertaining. A remake would have extreme difficulty finding two actors who could fill their shoes.

Fox and Lloyd both found their most iconic roles in the Back to the Future trilogy, and modern audiences might have a hard time seeing other actors playing the characters. Recasting well-known characters always opens up movies and TV shows to huge amounts of scrutiny from fans. If a Back to the Future remake doesn’t please everyone with its cast, which could be impossible, it would be doomed before it ever released in theaters.

7 The Past & Present Were Perfect Opposites In Back To The Future

The differences Marty’s present and 1955 wouldn’t be as pronounced in 2024

The original Back to the Future takes place in both 1985 and 1955, and the vast differences between these two time periods is the source of a lot of great comedy. Marty is a fish out of water in 1955. He doesn’t understand the conventions of the time and he struggles to blend in. A modern day remake of Back to the Future probably wouldn’t have the same appeal, due to the way the timeline would be set up.

A remake of Back to the Future would be set in 1994 if it were released today. Of course, there are plenty of differences between 2024 and 1994, and Marty would probably struggle to navigate the world without a cell phone, for example. But the differences probably wouldn’t be as pronounced as those between 1985 and 1955, so Marty wouldn’t be as much of an outsider in a strange time period.

6 Back To The Future Has So Many Memorable Moments That Any Remake Would Feel Like An Imitation

A remake would have to choose between copying the originals and ignoring them

Back to the Future II Delorean Being Struck by Lightning

The DeLorean is arguably the most iconic car in the history of cinema, but it wouldn’t make much sense in a modern setting. Replacing it in any way would be sure to upset fans.

The original Back to the Future trilogy has many memorable quotes, including Doc Brown saying the title of the movie. A remake would have to choose whether to rehash iconic lines like “Great Scott!” and “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” The other option would be to ignore them completely and devise a wholly original script. Both options come with significant drawbacks. Either the remake would have to parrot the original, or ignore what makes it great.

The problem isn’t just the quotes. Great scenes like Marty playing guitar at the dance present similar problems. The remake would have a tough time trying to strike a balance between honoring the original trilogy and creating something new and worthwhile. The DeLorean is arguably the most iconic car in the history of cinema, but it wouldn’t make much sense in a modern setting. Replacing it in any way would be sure to upset fans.

5 Marty’s Relationship With His Mother Would Be A Huge Problem Today

Lorraine McFly’s story would require some serious changes

Back to the Future has aged well since the 1980s, but there are still one or two things that would be considered a little uncomfortable if a remake stuck to the same framework. The most obvious of these issues is Marty’s unusual relationship with his mother. When he travels back to 1955, his mission to make sure that his parents ultimately get together is hindered by the fact that his mother takes a liking to him.

While Back to the Future somehow pulled off this plot without too much controversy, a remake would have to decide whether to attempt the same feat or simply edit the plot to come up with a new angle. Marty and his mother’s incestuous kiss might be too uncomfortable for modern audiences in a lighthearted comedy. Any potential Back to the Future remake would have to get the tone spot on to make it work.

4 More Back To The Future Movies Could Scramble The Timeline

A reboot or a legacy sequel would both face problems

The train in Back to the Future Part II

The Back to the Future timeline is already a little complicated, as each of Marty’s trips to a different era creates a new alternate reality. He and Doc Brown change what happens in the past, present, and future, and even Biff manages to forge his own reality at one point. A remake could potentially make things even more complicated, unless it wipes the slate clean and starts from scratch.

A Back to the Future legacy sequel would have to contend with the fact that the 2015 which appeared in the movies was vastly different from the real-life 2015. Starting over with a full reboot would probably be the easiest option, but it remains unknown whether a movie like Back to the Future could even work in the modern sci-fi landscape. More recent time travel movies and TV shows deal with paradoxes a lot, but Back to the Future makes fun of these sci-fi tropes in a way modern audiences might not connect with.

3 General Attitudes To The Future Have Shifted

Marty McFly with a hover board in Back to the Future II

Back to the Future Part II sends Doc and Marty to the far-distant future of 2015. Marty discovers a strange world where people ride hoverboards and wear two ties at once. Overall, it’s a very positive outlook on the future, suggesting that technological advances are designed to make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable. This is antithetical to most sci-fi based in the future, which tends to serve as a warning against too much technological reliance.

Back to the Future presents its fun and colorful version of the future as a Utopian counterpart to the 1980s reality in which Biff has turned Hill Valley into a chaotic and crime-riddled hell. Based on modern attitudes to the future, though, Back to the Future Part II seems out of touch. Anxieties over artificial intelligence and unethical tech companies mean that many people don’t see the future so brightly, and dystopian sci-fi trends reflect this gloomy perception.

2 Taking Back To The Future Out Of The 1980s Would Destroy Its Charm

Back to the Future in any other decade wouldn’t be the same

Marty, Jennifer, and Doc in the front seat of the DeLorean at the end of Back to the Future

A modern Back to the Future could have all the humor and intrigue of the original, but without its distinctive aesthetic, it would likely feel only partially complete.

Back to the Future jumps around between different time periods, but it’s an ’80s movie through and through. From the DeLorean to Marty’s puffer jacket, the Back to the Future trilogy is packed with 1980s charm that has only gotten more enjoyable over the years. Setting a Back to the Future remake in the modern day would instantly wipe out a large part of what makes the movie so popular.

A modern Back to the Future could have all the humor and intrigue of the original, but without its distinctive aesthetic, it would likely feel only partially complete. Marty’s Star Wars references wouldn’t make sense if he was only traveling back to the 1990s, and his music taste would also be lost. It could be possible to remove the characters from their original contexts, but it might not be the best idea.

1 The Original Is Just As Enjoyable As Ever

There’s no need to remake such a crowd-pleasing movie

The fact that makes any talk of a remake feel immediately unnecessary is that audiences can still watch and enjoy Back to the Future. If anything, time has only been kind to the trilogy, as it has now become an unintended retrofuturist masterpiece. There are enough terrible Hollywood remakes of classic movies to prove that some movies should remain untouched.

Remaking Back to the Future risks tarnishing the legacy of the original trilogy. The best case scenario for a remake would be that it builds on the trilogy’s established world with some fresh new ideas, but even this would change the way that some people remember the 1980s classics. The Back to the Future movies are all fun sci-fi adventures with a lot of humor, and there’s no need to try and turn them into anything else.



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