Lost Back to the Future audition tapes show how movie could have been very different
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Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Lost Back to the Future audition tapes show just how different the hit movie could have been, with some well-known - but slightly unexpected - faces among the lineup hopefuls.
The iconic role of Marty McFly eventually went to Michael J. Fox, who starred alongside the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson in Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 sci-fi favorite.
The film followed teenager Marty as he accidentally time travels back to 1955 in a DeLorean car pimped up with a flux capacitor, built by Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown (Lloyd), and was followed by two sequels in 1989 and 1990.
But while the franchise would go on to become some of the key cast members’ most memorable roles, things could have been very different indeed - as shown by old audition tapes of other actors who went for the gig.
The audition tapes had never been seen until they were shared back in 2020, when the film series was released as a Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray collection.
One of the faces you may recognise in the clips is none other than Ben Stiller, who tried out for the lead role of Marty.
"Lorraine, lately I've come to the conclusion that I don't know anything about my parents," a then-teenage Stiller says in response to Marty’s mother Lorraine.
When Lorraine asks why he’s ‘so nervous’, Stiller’s Marty replies: "Have you ever been, like, in a situation where ... well, you know you have to act a certain way but when you get there, you're not sure you can really go through with it?"
Elsewhere in the footage, we see Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer and C. Thomas Howell auditioning for the same role.
Billy Zane also took a stab at the role of Biff Tannen, which later went to Thomas F. Wilson - although Zane still ended up in the film as Biff’s crony Match O’Malley.
The videos resurfaced on YouTube last year, when user Smalltar wrote: “Random interesting thing I found on the Blu-Ray extra features section.”
Other people were equally fascinated by the footage, with one writing: “This was cool to watch. I think they made all the right choices at the end, but it's cool to see these auditions.”
Someone else said: “Ben Stiller was too nerdy and C. Thomas Howell was too cool. M.J. Fox had the right combination of both.”
Another commented: “It's like they all got casted as Marty McFly in a different universe but our universe got the best actor for the Marty McFly role.”
A fourth added: “Very cool... makes you appreciate how good the choices were for the roles, especially MJF.”