We’ve all heard for years now about how Eric Stoltz was originally cast in ‘Back to the Future’ and shot several weeks of footage before being replaced by Michael J. Fox. For the last 25 years, that original unused footage has been suppressed – reportedly at the insistence of director Robert Zemeckis, out of consideration for Stoltz’s feelings. With the release of the movie on Blu-ray later this month, that’s all changing.
The ‘Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy’ hits Blu-ray on October 26th. Not only will the set carry over bonus features from the 2002 DVD release, it will also have two hours of brand new supplements, including a six-part retrospective documentary. (The phrase “six-part documentary” makes me think that it’s really just one regular-length documentary split up into six bite-size parts to reduce royalty payments to the participants.) Anyway, that documentary finally gives a look at Stoltz in the McFly role. Here’s a clip that also explains why he was recast:
For this to be released now, I have to assume that Stoltz himself must have been consulted and must have consented to it. At least , I hope so. If so, good for him. He’s really got nothing to lose at this point. Stoltz has had his own successful career. (He even directed this week’s episode of ‘Glee’!) There’s no sense holding a grudge for 25 years – if, in fact, he ever did hold a grudge about it.
Technically, photos of Stoltz in character (such as that to the right) first surfaced a few years ago. You can still find them all over the web if you search. However, to my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve seen any footage in actual motion. Unfortunately, there’s no original audio to go with it – at least not in this clip.
This footage isn’t necessarily a huge revelation to anyone, but it certainly an interesting footnote in the history of a beloved movie. I’m glad to see it finally come to light.