On Sunday, 11 cast members from the Back To The Future trilogy reunited onstage at London Film & Comic Con in honor of the first film’s 30th anniversary. The panel included Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, Claudia Wells, Harry Waters Jr., Ricky Dean Logan, Marc McClure, Frances Lee McCain, James Tolkan, Donald Fullilove and Jeffrey Weissman, and involved a discussion of the series’ sizable legacy. On October 21 — a date with great significance to fans of the films — Universal Pictures will unveil the 30th Anniversary Trilogy, which features all three movies and a bonus disc containing a myriad of interviews, documentaries, and animated shorts about the making and characters of the movies, on DVD and Blu-ray. Although Back To The Future fans already know much about the history of the trilogy, here are five things we learned from Sunday’s panel.
MARTY McFLY WAS A NERD
Even though Marty confused the Star Trek and Star Wars universes in the first film, Michael J. Fox considers him a geek. “Being here today really filled me up with warm feelings,” Fox told the audience. “Here you guys are, dressed as other people and other characters, in crazy costumes and stuff. But you’re the most genuine, real people that I’ve ever met. I just thought, ‘These are people with their heart on their sleeve and they love what they love and get together and love doing the things they enjoy. If that’s a nerd, that’s what Marty is.’”
LEA THOMPSON HAD TROUBLE WITH THE SEXY
Lorraine Baines-McFly is Thompson’s “best part” ever. She loved the challenge of playing the character at different ages, in different eras, and said the hardest version was young Lorraine in the first Back To The Future movie. The sexuality of the character was daunting to Thompson and she would sing “Mr. Sandman” to herself to help get in the mood. “I really loved this strange, subversive quality of that girl in the ‘50s,” she said. “It was really a dream. When I read it I was so excited. And I still have on my reel the Lorraine McFly from the second movie when I had the big boobs.”
IF YOU NEED DOC BROWN, JUST CALL
Christopher Lloyd has revisited the role of Doc Brown several times since the trilogy wrapped, notably in last year’s Seth McFarlane comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West. The actor said he agrees to jump back into Doc’s shoes because he feels strongly about the character. “It’s always been really easy,” he said about coming back to Doc. “I don’t know what that says. I love the role. He’s passionate about discovering things… His mind doesn’t stop thinking of ways to do new things.” Lloyd’s favorite Doc invention is not, however, the time machine. The actor cites the overly complicated ice cube machine in the third movie as Doc’s best work.
‘BACK TO THE FUTURE’ WAS ABOUT POSSIBILITY
Fox and Lloyd were compelled by the mentor/mentee relationship between Doc and Marty. “Doc was his mentor and a way to channel his energy,” Fox said. “It was about curiosity and exploration and discovery and that everything isn’t what it appears to be. Like, this piece of junk can be part of this piece of junk, which can open a can of dog food. The fact that all things are possible. When you’re 18 years old and in high school you don’t think there’s possibilities. You keep running up against what you can’t do and where you don’t fit in. I’m sure it resonated with people that age who were looking for people to accept them as who they were and include them in their plans.” Lloyd added, “Marty was very accepting of all these things.”
During the panel an audience member inquired which film of the three was the most fun for the actors to make – and they were split. Lloyd preferred the third movie due to its setting in the Old West and because “Doc got a romance.” For Thompson and Fox, it was the initial flick. “To step in with these amazing people, this cast and Bob, everybody,” Fox said, continuing, “I was five or six years removed from being a kid in Canada, thinking I was going to work on the fish docks or join the army like my dad or do something. All of a sudden I’m on a set with Steven Spielberg and these amazing actors doing this amazing story. You wanted to pinch yourself, but you didn’t want to wake up.”