Not only did 2015 mark the 30th anniversary of The Goonies, but it brings about the same anniversary for Back to the Future as well. On July 3, it will officially mark 30 years since Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) was sent back to 1955 by Dr. Emmett L. Brown (Christopher Lloyd). With that, it’s time to look deeper into one of the best movies ever and check out 15 fun facts you may not have known.
1. Every major studio around at the time, rejected the script – When all was said and done, it had been rejected over 40 times. Co-writer and producer Bob Gale spoke with CNN and even said that it was rejected by “some more than once.”
Many studios said it was too sweet and not raunchy enough so they should bring it to Disney. They brought it to Disney and they said it was too dirty.
2. Tony Hawk helped Marty McFly a lot – Hawk is actually credited with choreographing all of the skateboard scenes.
3. A Delorean wasn’t their first choice – The time machine was originally going to be something known as a “time chamber,” which Gale said was “not unlike a refrigerator.” Doc Brown would have carried it around in the back of his truck.
Luckily, Robert Zemeckis thought it should be mobile and settled on the Delorean.
4. Another 80’s star turned down the role of Marty – Ralph Macchio, the Karate Kid himself, turned down the opportunity to play Marty McFly.
5. There was another Marty McFly befgore Michael J. Fox – Michael J. Fox was always Marty in Zemeckis’ eyes, but he had a lot of work going on. Filming began on Back to the Future with Eric Stoltz in the lead role. Once Fox became available, the “too serious” Stoltz was fired, Fox was hired, and production started over.
6. Marty McFly sneaked into Doc’s lab as a young teen and got a job – Gale actually told Mental Floss this detail in an interview from a few years ago.
“He snuck (sic) into Doc’s lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.”
7. Old Man Peabody’s interaction with Marty directly alters the future – When Marty McFly first gets to 1955, he crashes in the barn of the Peabody’s farm. As Marty hightails it out of there, he runs over a pine tree which causes Old Man Peabody to scream, “My pine! Why you…you space b*stard, you killed a pine!”
In the first part of the film, we learn that the Twin Pines Mall is where Peabody’s farm used to be. Once Marty returns to 1985, he returns to the mall which is now renamed Lone Pine Mall.
8. All of Doc’s clocks aren’t exactly the same – In the opening scene, every single one of Doc’s clocks read 7:53 which is exactly 25 minutes slow. Only, there is one clock that reads differently and it’s on the floor next to the case of plutonium. It reads 8:20.
9. The name of the film was almost horribly changed – One studio executive believed that the 1985 crowd may not go for a movie about the “future.” That executive attempted to change the name to Spaceman From Pluto. Luckily, he was not successful.
10. 1955-Biff had one famous gang of thugs – Veteran actors Casey Siemaszcko and Billy Zane were both a part of Biff’s gang.
11. Van Halen wasn’t cool, but Edward Van Halen is – When Marty freaks out George in 1955, he uses a Walkman and a tape labeled “Edward Van Halen.” It appears the band wouldn’t give clearance to use their name in the film, but Eddie Van Halen was all about using his.
12. Doc’s middle name really isn’t “L” – For those not aware, the “L” in Doctor Emmett L. Brown stands for “Lathrop.”
13. Early drafts of Back to the Future were weird – Not including the refrigerator time machine, there were other weird things in first drafts of the script. At one point, Doc Brown had a chimpanzee as a pet for some unknown reason. The head of Universal Studios was against it and said “no movie with a chimpanzee ever made any money.”
14. Ronald Reagan was a big fan – President Ronald Reagan gave a State of the Union address in which he quoted Doc Brown at the end of Back to the Future by saying, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
15. Don’t expect a Back to the Future remake anytime soon – Even though virtually every 80’s movie is being remade, a Back to the Future remake won’t be coming soon. Zemeckis says there is a clause in the contract of him and Gale that won’t allow it.
“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.”
Back to the Future may be remade sometime in the far-off future, but it really doesn’t need to be. As it approaches its 30th anniversary, it has withstood the tests of time and likely always will. Now, you can enjoy it even more with these 15 fun facts.
[Images via IMPAwards/Stoner’s Journal/Buzzfeed/Death and Taxes]