According to Bob Gale (the main screenwriter) in The Cutting Room Floor (a 1994 book), it was actually Kathleen Kennedy (not Steven Spielberg) who failed to convince Gary David Goldberg (one of her TV/college friends) to let them cast Michael J. Fox. Location-scouting included a Pasadena street that was being used for Teen Wolf. In this 2011 article, Jeph Loeb claimed that the Back to the Future producers were looking for an actor to replace Eric, so they asked the Teen Wolf producers to send some rough footage of Fox. This means that he was a last resort than the first choice.
I don’t buy that Gary wouldn’t allow him to work outside of Family Ties because of his contract, since Fox was already oscillating between that and Teen Wolf. In an article for the Los Angeles Times (September 4, 1994), Eric indicates that Robert Zemeckis (the director) was hanging him out to dry so as to increase the market share (albeit he expresses this in a passive-aggressive way): “Zemeckis told me I was giving a good performance in a film he didn’t want to make – contemplative and thoughtful instead of comedic. I felt I could have done the part had he pointed me in that direction.”
Eric still would’ve been fired if he acted funny, but the excuse would be that he was trying too hard. He was interviewed by Ron Base (who isn’t off base) for a 1994 book titled If the Other Guy Isn’t Jack Nicholson, I’ve Got the Part. Ron’s account of the official story differs from others in that Family Ties was slightly struggling in the ratings department prior to the casting change (thus the novelty of a sitcom star starring in a Sci-Fi multiplex movie). Eric said something which suggests an awareness that making movies is logistically more akin to the stock market than school plays: “It is such a fickle business; not kind to talent.”
According to a 2007 interview for the Voices from Krypton website, Gale (also one of the producers) mentioned that Sidney Sheinberg (the chief operating officer of MCA) forced the film-makers to work with Eric because of Mask (an Oscar baiter that was produced and distributed by Universal). Sid believed that Eric would be known as the world’s greatest actor and biggest movie star. Gale claimed that C. Thomas Howell tested better. In 1984, Grandview, U.S.A.confirmed his rising star stature to the youngsters whereas Tank made him more familiar to the oldsters. Cher and Eric attended the première of the former because she was invited to play the main character but backed out when the studio wouldn’t cast Eric as Howell’s character.
Irregarding Gale, Sid described Howell as chicken poop versus Eric’s chicken salad. Sid boasted that if he was wrong then he would allow the producers to restart. In 2003, Crispin Glover (who attended the same L.A. acting class as Eric) refuted Gale’s claim in a Zap2it article (what he said about Eric reminds me of what John Hughes said when explaining why Anthony Michael Hall gave the best audition for Sixteen Candles): “I did all of the screen tests with all the people that went up for the role. Eric Stoltz came in and the scenes were playing better. It wasn’t quite as light or comic, but he was a better actor.”
In We Don’t Need Roads, Sid backtracked by claiming that he was adamant about Eric because he was under the impression that Robert wanted an actor who was like James Stewart. This is interesting given that Roger Ebert (an esteemed film critic) compared the movie to Frank Capra (of whom Stewart was a stalwart as can be seen in You Can’t Take It With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life). This calls into question why there has been no footage released of Stoltz speaking. Jimmy’s characters had a particular way of speaking that, when taken out of context, would give the impression that Eric had trouble remembering his lines (i.e. shy, soft-spoken and stuttering).
Despite what Gale claimed, Bob Schmelzer (skateboarding double) claimed (at a 2012 cinema screening) that Fox couldn’t ride a skateboard to save his life. Also contrary to the claims of the other Bobs, Schmelzer claimed that Eric had the chops. Gale should have got Schmelzer to sign a nondisclosure agreement. At literally any rate, John Hughes could have salvaged Eric’s reputation by having his character in Some Kind of Wonderful be capable of skateboarding. In an issue of Chicago Tribune (September 17, 1992), Lea Thompson (who previously acted with Eric in The Wild Life) also defended him by saying it was like: “…replacing James Dean with James Cagney.”
On The Sam Roberts Show circa 2012, Christopher Lloyd expressed how shocked he was that Eric was canned despite giving a very good performance. He went so far as to say that it wasn’t like he was lousy. Lloyd likened the atmosphere of the announcement to that of a wake. Zemeckis failingly tried to refute this (in a 2015 book) after saying it was heartbreaking for everybody (in a 2010 documentary). Lloyd claimed that his firing wasn’t something to be cheered about. He even started to doubt his own performance. This counteracts what Thomas F. Wilson said to Chris Hardwick in 2011 about Eric being bad. Chris heard Lloyd’s polar opposite opinion in a 2013 interview: “He wasn’t being fired because he was a bad actor or he didn’t do it well. He was wonderful.”
Lloyd was misquoted as derisively mocking Eric’s method acting by saying “Well, who’s Eric? I thought his name really was Marty” after hearing the news. After hearing the quote, he claimed that it was apocryphal. Other apocryphalness: Sid claimed in The Ultimate Visual History that it wouldn’t have made sense for himself to concede the possibility that the actor who he was pushing for may be wrong for the role. He also stated that Zemeckis and Spielberg didn’t have to cast Eric if they saw fit that he was the wrong fit. Rob was quoted in July 7, 1985 (for Chicago Tribune) as saying that his firing had nothing to do with his talent, but to do with him not being in sync with the tone.
Helen Sugland, Eric’s agent, alluded to him being sold down the river by claiming (for Daily Variety on January 17) that Rob’s decision was a 180 degree turn since Eric had nothing but positive feedback prior to the dismissal. Five days later, this was mentioned in the New York version of Daily Variety. In the Chicago Tribune article, it’s fascinating to point out that Romancing the Stone wasn’t really intended as the means to the end for reigniting interest in BTTF. By the time that Zemeckis became a popular director, he was already dead set on directing a Goldie Hawn star vehicle called First and Goal (which went on to be known as Wildcats). He only directed BTTF after Goldie retired his services when the script revisions were going nowhere.
Crispin had the following to say (in 2010 and 2012) about Eric supposedly not fitting in: “It was not known, and it was surprising. I’d shot most of my scenes with Eric Stoltz. I’d worked with him before. We’d done a Bayer aspirin commercial. We played brothers. I’d known him a bit, and I liked him. I thought he was a good actor. If you shoot a number of months, and then in the middle of the shooting there’s a large replacement like that, it’s unnerving. He was fired right before Christmas vacation. We had shot about six weeks, and the last thing that we shot with him was the alternate return to the future.”
Fox claimed that Gary approached him about BTTF before the Christmas break. Like Crispin, Lea claimed that the Stoltz shoot lasted for 6 weeks. Tom claimed that it was almost 7 weeks. James Tolkan also said 7 weeks. Claudia Wells said 8 weeks. When interviewed for the Ain’t It Cool News website, Lloyd also said 8 weeks. He then said it had to be at least 6 weeks. Be that as it may, Tom said that filming was nearly wrapping to the extent that there was discussion about what the cast were going to do after completion. The visual history book refers to Eric being fired after 7 weeks. In 1985, Fox’s time was journaled as 7 weeks. This is because the 7th week of filming the Stoltz version (in Universal’s eyes) was the first week of filming the Fox version (in Amblin’s eyes).
In recent years, the Bob pair stated that they only re-filmed the shots where you can clearly see Eric. This means that a week was needed to film the non-Marty shots in the ground zero version. Eric being reportedly axed midway through a 12 week schedule is an implication that the film was half completed. As to why Robert lied by saying 5 weeks, he disclosed to Newsweek (for their July 8, 1985 issue) that he spent 6 weeks filming the Fox version. His comment can be found in a 1991 book titled Risky Business: Rock in Film. In the 1990 BTTF book, Fox’s time on set is journaled as having taken place from mid-January to mid-March of 1985. News articles have proven to be more contradictory as time goes on. In 1992, Eric was said to have participated in 2 weeks of filming. In 1994, it was said to be 3 weeks. By 1999, it was 4 weeks.
First, it was claimed that only a few scenes had been filmed for the Stoltz version. As more photos were revealed, it was thought to be almost half the film. As time went on, people believed that only three quarters of it were filmed. Tom implied that 95% of the film was in the can. According to the December 1989 issue of Orange Coast, Stoltz did 6 weeks of filming. This was also reported in issue 97 (August, 1985) of Starlog, where it was mentioned that the movie was nearly completed – something that was even addressed in a 2006 interview with Crispin. If it was unearthed that so much footage had been filmed with Eric, Robert would be forced to answer why it took so long to change gears (since he was meant to be editing the film as he was filming).
Robert would also be forced to answer why they didn’t film the scene where Biff pulls Marty out of Doc’s car. Due to the animosity between Eric and Tom, the only way that it would’ve been filmed would be if they used stand-ins when filming either actor. Officially, BTTF began filming in November’s final week. In spite of this, Fox claimed (in his Lucky Man memoir) that it was set to begin in late October (the screenplay was revised on 10/21/84). The assistant director who told him this, during the aforementioned scouting, didn’t say “later this month” or “later next month” because the location scouting took place in August (as mentioned in The Ultimate Visual History). Gale claimed in 2014 that they first approached Goldberg about Fox in September.
In spite of Tom’s claim, Arthur Schmidt (one of the editors) denied that Eric is the Marty who punches Biff despite the fact that this was known as far back as 1999. One of the questions that has been asked is why Fox isn’t wearing the same white T-shirt that Eric wore (the U.S. patent of a guitar). I believe that it was done to prove that they weren’t using Eric’s footage (Crispin’s clothes in these comparison shots support this very notion). I asked Kevin Pike (the special effects supervisor and the designer of the film’s DeLorean) why Robert changed it. He said: “I don’t know. He asked the wardrobe gal to make Marty’s outfit resemble the kinds of clothes that I wore.”
The trilogy’s publicists, Marsha Robertson and Michael Klastorin, referenced instead of quoting Eric as telling Peter Bogdanovich in a phone call after the first forenight that he was wrong for the part (albeit Tolkan quoted Eric as saying “Well, they can’t fire me now” on the last day of the shoot). The publicists never actually quote him because it would be libel. If Eric felt misplaced, he wouldn’t have gone on record by saying that the firing was brutal. In the August 2003 issue of Stuff, Crispin went on record as saying that Eric made the scenes better than Fox (now you can see why he doesn’t look enthused with Fox in the above and below stills).
In 1999, Nicholas Moenssens (a projectionist and dailies processor operator who had been working in the film industry for over 35 years at that point) had this to say on a message board:
“Stoltz’s agency at that time was Landmark Entertainment. Eric was actually very good in Back to the Future. Spielberg did have some creative ideas AFTER the fact, and since M.J. Fox was hot at the time, the change was made. Universal agreed that the film could be a bigger money maker with a name in the lead role. But let’s make one thing clear – Stoltz was not BAD in the part. I understood from some people at Landmark (who I was doing some production work with around the time he was replaced) that Eric was devastated. He is a very nice person and it was really a bad shake that he was sold out of the film.”
Spielberg was absent during Eric’s time on set because he was too busy working as a producer and uncredited co-director on The Goonies. If you read the 1984 script, you will notice that there are ideas absent from the Stoltz version because Steven had yet to be deeply involved. About Eric being very nice, Lloyd had mentioned in the AICN interview that what made his firing so poignant was that he wasn’t a bad guy. With Eric being a Trekkie, he asked Lloyd about his experiences on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock circa 1983. They definitely had chemistry! Even Tom admitted that Eric is nice. Casey Siemaszko (who played 3-D) had this to say: “It sucked when Eric was replaced. He is a nice guy. I didn’t get it at the time.”
In July of 2007, Gale claimed that the footage wasn’t exhibited because they were sparing Eric’s feelings. They contradicted themselves with the biasedly brief clips used for the 2010 Blu-ray release. Gale said that the footage wasn’t thrown away because it has historic significance. Despite people claiming otherwise, Eric said in an April 2007 interview that he would like to observe all of the footage. It was reported here that he didn’t want the footage to be shown. A male fan provided this July 2007 anecdote:
“I saw Robert Zemeckis at the San Diego Comic-Con when he was promoting Beowulf and someone asked him about the Stoltz footage ever seeing the light of day. Zemeckis said it would be impossible as Stoltz put a legal hold on it and promised to sue Universal if it was ever released. Personally, I don’t see how that’s possible as Universal owns this footage and should be able to do with it what it likes, but Zemeckis did sound serious when he explained the situation.”
The strange thing about this claim is that Gale said that Eric doesn’t have the power to authorize this. Even Eric said this. Obviously, the Bob duo are hiding the fact that there is a commercial initiative regarding why it’s taken so long for the footage to be seen. The Blu-ray release was a way of testing the waters to see how much interest there was in the footage. The bittersweet irony is that most people only purchased the Blu-Ray because of the footage. This courtesy was extended to the 2015 books. The burgeoning interest in Eric has resulted in Gale recanting his claim of the star participating in 5 weeks of filming. He’s now saying it was 6 weeks. Gale isn’t much of a raconteur. The incongruities of the Stoltz story are second to only the firing of Jean-Claude Van Damme from Predator (the level of incongruity truly rivals Rashomon).
Gale boasted that this was the first time that an actor had been replaced after filming so much footage. However, this had already (and coincidentally) happened in the fifties. Tyrone Power died after shooting half of Solomon and Sheba (whose reshoots cost 6 million); which brings us to the first book mentioned in this article (as a way of coming full circle). Gale justified the firing decision by referencing 3 unrelated incidences (namely Lawrence of Arabia, Brainstorm and The Crow). He would have come off better by using just one example – Aliens. Using more than one irrelevant example gives the telling impression that the previous attempts at justifying were rendered null.
A 1985 TV interview with Zemeckis which recently surfaced on YouTube has him questioned by the interviewer about Eric Stoltz persistently and saying more about the incident than I think he ever has on record elsewhere:
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Thanks for that. It’s interesting that Zemeckis didn’t say anything about Eric not being funny.
Yes, I thought so too. He was almost implying there was a story problem in that Stoltz would seem so sophisticated about the dilemma that he wouldn’t seem confused enough to need Doc’s advice.
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It’s almost as if Eric’s Marty was similar to Chris O’Donnell in Scent of a Woman. Like Al Pacino in that film, the original Doc Brown was a bit of a playboy in the `50s.
I haven’t seen that film since it came out, so having trouble remembering, LOL. It did seem like Zemeckis didn’t have a good answer for why he was so sure Stoltz couldn’t change his performance. He could’ve said that he asked him to change it and Stoltz couldn’t, but he doesn’t say that he asked him to. And Stoltz is quoted in this article somewhere saying he was never asked to change it. You can’t overlook that Zemeckis from the beginning preferred Fox over Stoltz, for commercial or other reasons, and only agreed to use Stoltz if he could back out on his casting later “if it didn’t work out.” That’s like getting married with a prenup agreement. If you go into something without fully committing, you’re going to be more likely to back out later. And from the beginning he may have been trying to build a case against keeping Stoltz on board, including by not giving him the right direction he needed to improve his performance. He may have always thought Fox was better but was put in the position of needing to prove that to the executives and that may have meant hanging Stoltz out to dry by letting him continue giving the wrong performance on camera.
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It makes me wonder if they had any behind-the-scenes footage of Stoltz. They certainly spent a lot of money on stills and b-t-s photos, so they may as well have filmed things on set so that they could use it to evaluate other aspects of the production.
One thing that confuses me is that they spent so much money on documenting the Stoltz version, but usually a company wouldn’t spend so much money on stills and b-t-s photos if they know from the beginning that the undesired choice is a glorified understudy. It brings to mind something that Gale said about not destroying the footage since it had historical significance. In fact, they sort of used Stoltz as a selling point in 1985. Almost every review and article referenced the firing.
It’s too bad that the executives couldn’t make daily visits to the set to check out the dailies to see if everything was okay, especially since films with budget cuts need to be supervised so that there’s no overspending.
I really liked the interview that Stoltz did with Bobbie Wygant in 1996 promoting Grace Of My Heart it is on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr9_bXQ5e9Q. It looked like she was pushing him to talk BTTF when they talked about rejections and losing roles in his career. He responded with smile knowing and sensing what she was trying to ask from far away. As he said to her you are not going to make me cry asking me about pain in my early day career…
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It reminds me of what happened when Faith No More were interviewed by MTV about their Angel Dust album in 1992. The female interviewer tried so subliminally hard to get the band to say “grunge” and “Nirvana” with the following questions…
“What bands do you think have been the most influential in the past year and why?”
“In 1991, who would you say was most influential for music in general and why?”
“What bands do you think now are breaking new ground in their genres and if you can explain that?”
“Do you see any trends that have started to take shape now that you think will sort of come to the forefront of `92 in music?”
“Are there any trends that you’re really sick of that you would like to see go away?”
I was always wondering why Eric switched from real mainstream to indie movies at the beginning of 90s ? He has a such prolific career but not too many people watched it, especially abroad. Foreign channels are more interested in big studio Hollywood productions. Even in the US, many of his movies can not be watched today because they were not transferred in HD yet. I remember as a kid watching the Money (1991) mini-series, Today it seems gone forever… Only poor edited and bad quality transfer of theatrical cut is still available.
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After Back to the Future, Eric starred in films which didn’t do all that well at the box office. Some Kind of Wonderful was the least successful of the John Hughes teen movies. The Fly II was a flop. Because of this, he was forced to do indie films, especially working in Europe.
Memphis Belle (with Matthew Modine) had the makings of a hit but failed to deliver at the box office. The Waterdance (co-starring Wesley Snipes) was supposed to be Eric’s comeback but the movie failed to get a wider release. Pulp Fiction should have changed this but Eric found that the only mainstream movies which he could be in were ones where he had a supporting role or smaller.
I wrote an article about Money.
Regarding BTTF footage you mentioned it certainly exists. Even on 2010 blu ray documentary there is a segment talking about Doc Brown Chris Lloyd you can see the guy on the clock tower with the marker dated December 21st (if I am not wrong with precise date) 1984 (when Eric was still on board) and in the next shot you can see Doc working on clock tower and Eric dressed in black pulling the cable. Video quality is not that great, but that is definitely Eric Stoltz….Even one new still pic of Eric is presented there showing him from the back screaming to Doc who was on the clock tower.
Regarding Some Kind of Wonderful I think it is John Hughes best teen movie or on the same level of The Breakfast Club. The rest of them are too childish even if they made more money. I think many directors and producers were reluctant about him because he was kind of quit and calm, manners and voice… I really want to see the real director’s cut of SISTER SISTER (1987) not the truncated theatrical cut that destroyed the original vision after the poor test screening. Eric was also very good in it. Or small part in Manifesto… He can play everything you want. Or maybe he didn’t have this desire and ambition as Tom Cruise (as Eric mentioned at Sarasota Film festival because they used to have the same agent). Even agent looked at him strange – an oddity (his words) – because he was always traveling to Paris and waiting the script to be sent there…
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I think part of the reason why Eric lived in Paris was to get away from the U.S. press who were very eager to ask him about his firing from BTTF. Also, perhaps he didn’t want to run into any people who worked on the film like Thomas F. Wilson, J.J. Cohen or Billy Zane.
In an `80s magazine for teenagers, Eric’s agent at the time (Helen Sugland) described his career as being like a chess game. I guess she meant that he was playing the long game.
What was in the original version of Sister, Sister?
Sister Sister (1987) was meant to be like a dream movie. J. Jason Leigh dreamed the whole story about Matt and all the events. Only at the end of the movie she wakes up and audience realize everything was a nightmare. If i m not wrong she wakes up in a hospital or church somewhere. But the main difference was revealing the killer Matt. Originally he was demasked later in the movie when Leigh is coming back from outside telling Matt that Benjamin Mouton as Etienne LeViolette was murdered. Matt is pushing her to believe it was her sister. she exit and confront her sister and only after she take gun in her hands Matt is revealed as the killer with that segment where he is standing from the bed showing dirt and mud from his boots. That was the intrigue of the movie playing with audience mind, In theatrical cut, Matt is revealed the killer when wounded Benjamin Mouton as Etienne LeViolett is looking at him – Eric Stoltz face in cap was introduced later on during re-editing. Re-shots took place. I think in this way they destroyed the finale of the movie. Director Bill Condon is talking about all changes on the new Blu-ray from Vynegat Syndrome in 2022. Really interesting to hear his comments.
Regarding Billy Zane, it was like a bad rock – Match was his first role in movie history (no lines and stuff) and Eric was the lead in BTTF (much more experienced actor) and in five years they both play the same level role in this ensemble cast movie called Memphis Belle. Even on blu-ray.com, someone mentioned that Billy showed a pic from MB with main cast on twitter or Instagram. He mentioned all the actors name on the pic excepting Eric Stoltz. Was it a bad sign? Honestly only Lloyd, Thompson and Fox kind of had a career after BTTF. Tom Wilson and Glover stuck in people’s minds mainly as Biff and George from BTTF. Siemaszko, Gaines, Cohen played many similar roles in 80s in different movies and even together in Secret Admirer (1985).
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I know the BR post that you’re referring to.
It looks like Eric is annoyed at something that Billy is saying. J.J. is looking at him with spite, and Tom thinks it’s funny.
J.J. Cohen lost the role of Biff because of Eric. I understand that, but honestly I can not see him as Biff. I watched that Craig Sheffer and V. Madsen movie Fire with Fire (1986) where J.J. played and it was kind of hard TO BELIEVE THAT HE COULD PLAY BIFF. Maybe I am wrong.
I like Eric Stoltz’s quote on Twitter – Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures, and that is character. – Horace Greeley.
Maybe he wasn’t ready to become a super star at the time…Teen idol or one of the Brad Pack members. He mentioned that in a few of his interviews. Maybe they play game today and want to show the entire movie BTTF shot with Stoltz only at the near end of his life. You know in the past all this writers, poets became famous only after their death. Sad but truth…one more thing – he dated many girl teen idols in 80s – Leigh, Fonda, flirt with Thompson and for sure Cher who was much older. Girls used to have a crush on him.
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I wonder if they would have cast Wilson anyway since he was more intimidating than Cohen. He had a bigger body and more comic flair.
In a nineties interview, Eric claimed that he did porn when describing the different kinds of films that he’s been in. I wonder if he means the erotic drama, Haunted Summer.
On Twitter, a guy named Sean Burns tweeted: “I worked at Tower Video in the East Village and rented a porno to Eric Stoltz once. This was during that time in the ‘90s when he was in six or seven indie movies a year so I made a joke about how hard it must have been for him to find a movie he wasn’t in. Dude was not amused.”
In Sister Sister (1987), an Blu Ray audio comment by the director claimed that he wanted Eric to get naked in front of camera and he refused because he didn’t want journalists and people chase him like Richard Gere after he did American Gigolo. Strange enough the next year he starred in Haunted Summer and got fully frontal naked on camera. Few years later he did the same thing in Naked in New York…
By the way where did you get all your rare stills with Eric in BTTF. I see that you got plenty of them, more detailed than the ones from BTTF Visual Book. They become gold these years – Ralph Nelson (still photographer of BTTF) could make a fortune if Universal will allow him to sell copies. Unfortunately he can’t.
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I can see why Eric didn’t go through with the nudity on Sister, Sister. This was when Some Kind of Wonderful put him back into the spotlight and he was still considered a teen idol. Maybe he didn’t want teen girls coming after him and pretending to be in their early twenties.
After SKOW died at the box office, nobody cared about Haunted Summer (especially since it was filmed in Europe), so Eric got away with being FFN on camera. After Memphis Belle flopped, he was so low under the radar of publicity by the time that Naked in New York came out.
I got the rarest photos from a French forum about Back to the Future (Retour Vers Le Futur). As for the rare diner photo in my article about Zemeckis, I got it from a Japanese magazine about the movie.
Anymore articles about Stoltz in BTTF from you? or everything was told. People are waiting 2025 to see maybe this time Gale and Zemeckis will provide more info about Stoltz Cut or why not the entire movie to the audience. I think these years people are watching BTTF frame by frame to see if this shot or segment was used from Stoltz time on board. They are very noticeable, especially Glover scenes mainly because of his hairstyle changes. They are not the same. During Stoltz’s time, his hair was longer around the ears and hairline itself and almost shaved around ears during re-shots with Fox. The second thing is that during re-shots Glover has skinnier face because he was sick or something.
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There’s nothing else left to write. In 2020, I was hoping that the Stoltz cut would be released as promised. There’s a Chinese time travel movie where they duplicated the circumstances of this movie by filming two versions.
God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai gives you a good idea as to how they went about filming BTTF two times. More close-ups when working with a more famous star and shots being reused where you can’t recognise the previous star.
I really doubted in 2020 about Stoltz Cut. It wasn’t a round date for release – 35 years. More logical is 40 – 50 to me. Talking about myself I think 40th Anniversary is the best choice. As you said all of them will be in their 60s and Lloyd still can see it (he will turn 87 in 2025). If they will wait another 5-10 years there are little chances that Chris will watch it on big screen. Sad to recognize but their generation will be gone soon… They make money today mostly on Stoltz story being in BTTF once. They spent so much money on advertising stills and lobby cards with Eric, footage showed to the audience – it is a gamble?! It is marketing and getting people ready for big event…
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Maybe they’re waiting until Lloyd dies so that the release of the Stoltz cut acts as some kind of memorial to commemorate how he developed as an actor.
How they’ve gone about this is so weird. There are scenes that have been talked about but we don’t get to see photos of – Eric in the school cafeteria with Tom, Eric in Doc’s car with Lea on prom night or the original ending with the McFly family.
Yes, it is very weird how it turn over the time. Eric and Tom at school cafeteria was filmed in December during Christmas break. Anyway we have the pic of Eric and Glover AT SCHOOL CAFETERIA in Visual book. The same day or the next, they filmed that scene with Tom. About Eric in Doc’s car with Lea on prom night – this scene was one on the test screening for many candidates for the role of Marty. I know that for sure (I have some source material and call sheets).
I know many people are saying that that pic circulated on net where Eric in looking at Zemeckis from Doc’s car is from prom scene. I debunk this – it is wrong. This pic is from Van Halen scene where Marty jumps in Doc’s car after George fall asleep. It is the same scene that you can see in deleted scenes section from Fox version. Pic in in black and white and the most of the people do not understand that Eric is wearing yellow radiation suit. Regarding original ending – we have an idea about it from how Glover looks on the back cover of his book. Also I know that the interior of McFly house in the ending looked more modern in Stoltz cut. When they re-shot, Lawrence G. Paull (set decorator) was asked to switch it for a more feminine looking house.
Also on Eric Stoltz | Futurepedia | Fandom page is not included one major scene filmed with Stoltz – Dinner table scene. Marc McClure confirmed that in one interview – “Talking GolfGetaways, Ep. 22: Actor Marc McClure on Palm Springs golf, Tobacco Road and an unforgettable career” – here is the link.
On minute 11:41, he is talking about Eric Stoltz and the dinner table scene. I would love to see the original (few of them have been printed) poster with Eric on it as the lead. I know some people made a fan poster featuring Stoltz.
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Thanks for the interview.
In the below 2015 interview with Bob Gale, he hinted that they shot the parking lot scene between Marty and Lorraine. Gale said: “Did we know that the movie was going to be a hit? The first inkling I had that maybe it was going to be something was in March in 1985. We were down at Whittier High School shooting the stuff outside of the Enchantment under the Sea dance; the parking lot stuff and so forth. And we had already been to Whittier in December shooting the same scenes with Eric Stoltz and nobody cared.”
The poster with Stoltz on it may be very different from what was later chosen with Fox on board. Even when Fox was cast, it took the filmmakers so many different kinds of posters before they settled on the one that became synonymous with the movie.
u are right, they filmed at parking lot with Eric, the masters (shots where he is pulling the car), but the interior of the scene was filmed on stage. Gale said that when they filmed with Fox after that kiss with Thompson her reaction was filmed later on in studio not at location.
Basically what we never heard from cast and filmmakers, are the following scenes;
1. battle of the bands scene,
2. ,Melora Hardin scenes as Jen (SHE CONFIRMED THAT SHE NEVER FILMED ANY SCENES WITH ERIC, except pics for his wallet and it was in December in the day when Marty is arranging George’s hair before entering into cafe before that fist). who knows maybe Eric filmed with a different actress like Kyra Sedgwick secretely.
3. Marty arriving home in the beginning where he sees George talking with Biff about his crashed car. I think in Stoltz cut the scene was different, Fox version is just a re-write of this scene and an introduction of Biff. I am sensing originally Biff was presented just in 1955.Maybe I am wrong
4. Prom scene when Biff pulls Marty from the car – Tom said that he never got the chance to revenge his bruises after school cafeteria scene. Rumors says they might filmed the scene with a stunt double because Eric and Tom couldn’t get along.
5. M. Berry scenes and Marty in the Trunk.
6. Johnny B Goode scene. For me the movie could work without this scene, and after George hits Biff down Marty goes directly to the clock tower. Even Zemeckis though it slows the movie down in pacing.
7. Marty in detention wasn’t filmed entirely. We know that the scene where Tolkan smashes his Sony Walkman in wise was filmed (we have 2 stills) but detention scene itself wasn’t at Whittier but on stage. Gale said classroom was build for Fox version but it was complicated to film. They chose an easier scene in the Fox version with Strickland.
What makes me curious is the fact on Eric Stoltz Futurepedia Fandom page says that Strickland overhears phone conversation between Marty and Doc at school. In the script posted online we do not have this scene in the draft. I know there are some some stills where Strickland in listening someones conversation on the phone in his office and again maybe someone get to this conclusion.. In the draft posted online Doc is first introduced at the clock tower scene with Jen from the beginning of the movie.
Anyway what we never heard of are about 25-30 minutes from the movie. Everything else is known over the years