'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (2024)

If you are a Back to the Future fan, you certainly have dreams of visiting Hill Valley or hopping in a DeLorean — or if the first three movies were not enough, you may have a wish for a fourth film.

While we cannot promise you future movies connected to the storyline, we can say that some of the cast of Back to the Future has been back on set, returning to the infamous clock tower, which may be the most iconic set from the franchise.

'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (1)

The 1985 sci-fi comedy classic, Back to the Future, is a pop culture phenomenon.

Marty McFly (played by the iconic Michael J. Fox) is a teenager whose life gets turned upside down when his eccentric scientist friend, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), accidentally invents a time machine out of a DeLorean car. Struck by lightning, the DeLorean hurls Marty back to 1955, where he encounters his teenage parents and accidentally disrupts their first meeting, jeopardizing his own existence!

Marty must navigate this alternate 1955, ensuring his parents fall in love and reunite him with the future. The clock tower plays a pivotal role here. It’s the location where Doc Brown, still in 1985, needs a bolt of lightning to send Marty back to his own time. A frantic race against time ensues, with Marty needing to recreate the exact conditions of the original lightning strike to ensure his return to the future.

'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (2)

Back to the Future is a hilarious and heartwarming adventure that explores friendship, family, and the power of destiny. Fueled by a catchy soundtrack and unforgettable characters, it’s no wonder this film continues to be a beloved classic.

Back to the Future Cast Back on Set

While we might not be able to hop into a DeLorean to go back to the set that was being used in 1985, we can still go back to the set today.

At Universal Studios Hollywood, the tram tour shows off many of the popular sets and filming locations that are on the backlot, with the clock tower set being one of them. The set is still heavily used by productions, so sometimes, when you are on the tram tour, the tour may have to bypass it in order to not disrupt filming — which happens often.

But, if you are lucky enough to visit on a day that it is vacant, you can geek out at the fact that you just time-traveled back to an iconic moment in cinematic history.

This past week, Lea Thompson who plays Lorraine McFly in Back to the Future, and writer Bob Gale were back on set. The duo shared a few videos from their return to the set, with the first video highlighting Thompson’s disbelief that Gale wrote the film, to which he jokingly replied, “I don’t know, I was drunk”.

This is where I was. #courthousesquare #bttf

This is where I was. #courthousesquare #bttf pic.twitter.com/kI3LvDrYdY

— Lea Thompson (@LeaKThompson) March 31, 2024

The two went into the courthouse, where Bob shows off the original pillars which are now blocked by a facade. Bob explained that after the success of ˆthe courthouse was too iconic for another show or movie to film there without the viewer being taken out of the story to notice that they were looking at theˆset.

The inside scoop on #courthousesquare #bttf #Universal

The inside scoop on #courthousesquare #bttf #Universal pic.twitter.com/dtGRJhGM91

— Lea Thompson (@LeaKThompson) March 31, 2024

While we would love to see a Back to the Future 4, it seems that the two were likely doing Universal Hollywood’s VIP Tour Experience, which any guest can do if they purchase it. This add-on allows you to get off of the tram at certain sets, and walk on the grounds. The experience costs an added $379 (starting).

Back to the Future 4 Trailers

After years of speculation, a new 78-second trailer circulating on YouTube suggests that the Back to the Future series is making a comeback with Back to the Future 4 in 2024.

The trailer features Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox reprising their roles as Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly, respectively, as they embark on more time-travel adventures reminiscent of the first three films. The trailer even ends with Fox delivering Lloyd’s iconic catchphrase, “Time travel? Great Scott.”

Lea Thompson and Elizabeth Shue are also depicted in conversation, with Thompson previously portraying Marty’s mother Lorraine and Shue playing his girlfriend Jennifer in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II.

The most significant revelation is the appearance of Tom Holland portraying a younger version of Marty McFly, engaging in dialogue with Michael J. Fox and revisiting key moments from Fox’s earlier films. Holland’s face is seamlessly integrated using deepfake technology onto Fox’s body, hinting at a potential handover of the role of young Marty McFly for Back to the Future 4.

However, it’s important to note that this trailer has been debunked as a fake.

The brief scene featuring Holland and Fox is actually taken from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home. In this scene, Peter Parker is seen having his suitcase inspected at a Venice airport and discovers that his Spider-Man suit is packed inside.

You can watch the trailer below:

The recent rumors of a Back to the Future remake starring Tom Holland have once again sparked fan discussions. However, this isn’t the first time this time-traveling tale has ignited remake desires.

The spark for the current buzz likely stems from a viral deepfake video created in February 2020 by YouTuber EZRyderX47.

This clever edit superimposed Tom Holland’s face onto Marty McFly (originally played by Michael J. Fox) and Robert Downey Jr.’s face onto Doc Brown (originally played by Christopher Lloyd). The video, featuring a humorous scene rewrite, garnered over 11 million views and fueled fan theories of a Holland-Downey Jr. Back to the Future remake, especially considering their successful on-screen chemistry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

You can watch that trailer here, too!

Even Tom Holland himself acknowledged the impressive deepfake, jokingly calling it “illegal” and inquiring about filming during a red carpet interview. However, Holland went on to clearly state his belief that Back to the Future is “one of the only perfect movies ever made” and that he and Downey Jr. “couldn’t do it any better.”

So, while the idea of a Back to the Future remake with modern stars might be enticing, it seems the original film holds a special place in the hearts of both fans and the actors themselves. For now, it appears the time-traveling adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown will remain a cherished classic.

Back to the Future Director Says “No”

According to Syfy, “director Robert Zemeckis is also pretty adamant that he’s not interested in returning for a fourth film in any capacity. Back in 2018, after Lloyd expressed an interest in returning to the franchise for the right story, Zemeckis told Italian entertainment site Bad Taste that there will “never” be a Back to the Future 4, which means that the two principals creators of the series are a united front in terms of staving off any reboots or revivals.”

Would Micheal J. Fox Return?

In addition, with Micheal J. Fox unable to return to the character of Marty due to his battle with Parkinson’s Disease, it may not be in good taste to write him out, as he is a massive and beloved piece of the Back to the Future fandom.

'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (3)

As the Michael J. Fox Foundation states, “Michael won three Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his work onFamily Ties.In 1988, he married his co-star, Tracy Pollan, and they welcomed their first child, Sam, a year later. During his 20s, Michael completed seven seasons of Family Ties and starred in 10 feature films, includingThe Secret of My Success, Casualties of Warand severalBack to the Futuresequels. While filming Doc Hollywood in 1991, Michael developed a tremor in his pinky finger. A consultation with a neurologist revealed a surprising and devastating diagnosis: he had young-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). He was only 29 years old. ”

Fox recently unveiled the Emmy award-winning film, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, offering viewers a glimpse into his journey living with Parkinson’s disease over the past few decades. The documentary explores the onset of the condition, Fox’s efforts to conceal it, and its progression. It also highlights the unwavering support of Fox’s family, who continue to stand by him, providing him with care and encouragement as he navigates life as a devoted husband and father despite his health challenges.

Fox has clarified that although there may have been talks about a potential comeback following the positive reception of Back to the Future Part III (1990), he was not part of those discussions. “I’m sure somebody considered it,” he remarked. “But during that period, I was grappling with early stages of Parkinson’s, so I’m uncertain if I would have been inclined to pursue that opportunity.”

Where to See a New Back to the Future

While a Back to the Future 4 movie will likely not happen, fans of the film can see the story told in a new light as it is currently on Broadway, and gearing up for a world tour.

The show recently made headlines after Al Roker made a surprise debut for one night only.

Roker took a break from his weatherman duties on Thursday night to step into a different spotlight: Broadway. The veteran Today show host made a surprise cameo appearance in Back to the Future: The Musical, currently running at New York City’s iconic Winter Garden Theatre.

'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (4)

For the sold-out audience, it was an unexpected delight and a unique opportunity to see Roker in a new role, albeit for just one night. In the production, he portrayed Principal Strickland, originally portrayed by James Tolkan in the 1985 film.

Fans of the movie will recall Strickland as the stern authority figure who famously chastises Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, with the line, “You’re a slacker, McFly!”

Roker, 69, embraced the character with gusto, even joking about the uncanny resemblance between himself and Strickland in a special message included in the Playbills for the performance. “Of course I was drawn to Principal Strickland,” quipped Roker. “He’s obnoxious, he’s bald, and he’s a loudmouth. Always play to your strengths.”

In terms of the tour, Playbill wrote, “The tour is expected to begin in Cleveland, Ohio in June 2024, after previewing at Proctors in Schenectady, New York. Additional tour stops and dates will be announced later.

The tour will launch less than 12 months after the Olivier-winning production opens on Broadway, beginning performances at the Winter Garden Theatre June 30 ahead of an August 3 opening night.

The Broadway company will include Casey Likes as Marty McFly, and original West End leads Tony winner Roger Bart and Olivier nominee Hugh Coles, both reprising their roles as Doc Brown and George McFly. They will be joined by Liana Hunt as Lorraine Baines, Jelani Remy as Goldie Wilson/Marvin Berry, Nathaniel Hackmann as Biff Tannen, Merritt David Janes as Strickland, and Mikaela Secada as Jennifer Parker.”

Would you like to see a Back to the Future 4?

'Back to the Future 4' Plot Update: Cast Returns to Set, Clocktower Revealed - Inside the Magic (2024)
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