These days, you can’t throw a stone in Hollywood without hitting someone working on a reboot or sequel of a beloved film/television show. One franchise that has so far managed to escape the curse of the unnecessary reboot is the Back to the Future trilogy. In an interview with Collider, the franchise’s writer Bob Gale explained why Back to the Future 4 will never happen.
“We told a complete story with the trilogy. If we went back and made another one, we’d have Michael J. Fox, who will be sixty next year, and he has Parkinson’s Disease. Do we want to see Marty McFly at age sixty with Parkinson’s Disease? Did we want to see him at age fifty with Parkinson’s Disease? I would say ‘No, you don’t want to see that.’ And you don’t want to see Back to the Future without Michael J. Fox. People say, ‘Well, do it with somebody else.’ Really? Who are you going to get? All you’re gonna do is beg comparisons to the originals, and you’re not going to match up.”
While there is a popular movement online that wants to see Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. replace Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the iconic roles of Marty and Doc, it is true that Holland and Downey, or any other actors, will never be able to match up to the nostalgic love that fans have for Fox and Lloyd. For Gale, maintaining the integrity of the work they did with the original Back to The Future trilogy is more important than continuing to try to profit off the franchise
“We’ve seen this repeatedly with sequels that go back to the well after many, many years, and they go ‘Ah, well, The Phantom Menace, maybe my life would have been better if I hadn’t seen it.’ There are a lot of extra sequels like that. We didn’t want to be those guys who did a movie that was basically a moneygrab. Universal says to us, ‘You’d guys would make a whole lot of money,’ but we’re like, ‘Well, we’ve already made a whole lot of money with these movies, and we like them just the way they are. And as proud parents, we’re not going to sell our kids into prostitution.'”
So clearly, Gale feels very strongly about letting the Back to the Future franchise rest in peace. But hey, this is Hollywood. Studios don’t give a damn about the feelings of the creators if their creations can make them an extra buck or two. Fortunately, Gale revealed he has an agreement in place to make sure Back to the Future is not rebooted or restarted with any other group of creatives.
“We have an understanding with Spielberg and Amblin [Entertainment] that there would never be another Back to the Future movie without our blessing or being involved. So it’s not going to happen.”
This news was first reported at Collider.