Back To The Future cast reunite and discuss how film nearly had different title

Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
·2-min read

The cast and crew of Back To The Future took part in a virtual reunion and recalled how the beloved film almost had a very different title.

Michael J Fox, who played time traveller Marty McFly in the 1985 classic and sequels, was joined by Christopher Lloyd, who portrayed eccentric inventor Doc Brown, for an event raising money for the coronavirus relief effort.

Others stars from the franchise, including Lea Thompson and Mary Steenburgen, were also involved.

During the livestream, organised by Frozen star Josh Gadd, director/writer Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale discussed how studio executive Sidney Sheinberg tried to change the title to Spaceman From Pluto before being laughed off by producer Steven Spielberg.

Gale said: “The CEO of MCA, he hated the title Back To The Future, he hated it. He always said: ‘It doesn’t make any sense, what does this mean’?”

Zemeckis added: “The reason he really hated it is because he said movies with the word future in the title never make any money.”

And Gale recalled how Sheinberg, long-time chief executive of MCA Inc and Universal Studios, suggested a new title before Spielberg intervened.

He said: “One day we get this memo and it says ‘I’ve come up with the perfect title for this movie; Spaceman From Pluto, and here are some changes in the script you can make to reflect the title’.

“Bob and I went to Steven and we said, ‘Holy shit, what do we do?’ And he turned to his assistant and said let’s send Sid a memo.

Quoting from the memo, Gale said: “Dear Sid, thank you for your most humorous memo of November 14, we all got a big laugh out of it, keep them coming”.

“And we knew Sid would be too embarrassed to admit he was being serious and we never heard about it again,”

During the livestream, part of Gadd’s Reunited Apart series, he also shared a video of the cast from the British Back To The Future musical, which premiered at Manchester Opera House on February 20 before closing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Stars including Roger Bart (Doc Brown), Olly Dobson (Marty McFly) and Hugh Coles (George McFly) performed The Power Of Love, the song written by Huey Lewis And The News for the original film.