In the movie “Back to the Future Part II” (1989), we travel into the distant future. The exact date is October 21, 2015. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that day is today. The future is now! (reference to “Time Machine” 2002).
The art department of the movie imagined a future of flying cars, robots walking dogs, robot garbage bins, fingerprint locks and just weird outrageous technology. Plenty of websites have compared between how the movie depicts the future and what technology actually exist today. In this post I will try to give more insight into the movie itself and walk you through the major parts of the “Back to the Future 2” future.
Need a ride mister/miss? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads.
Welcome to the Future
The beginning of Back to the Future II (BTTF2 from hereon) is where we left off in BTTF (well almost). Doc shows up in the DeLorean and tells Marty to come back with him. Back to the future. Wait a minute, if Doc has a time machine, why is he always in a hurry? Doesn’t he have all the time in the world?!
By the way, Doc is like Kramer in Seinfeld, isn’t he? Both have crazy hair, crazy shirts, they both open doors in dramatic ways and steal other people’s food. They sure can make an entrance.
So it starts with Marty and his girlfriend traveling 30 years into the future to October 21st 2015. When Marty arrives, we are introduced to “rejuvenation”, accurate weather reporting, “self-tying shoes” and this is only the first couple of minutes. Amazing, absolutely amazing.
Marty walks around and almost get eaten by a holographic shark. If you look close enough, it says that the director for “Jaws 19” is Max Spielberg. Max himself is Steven Spielbergs son and he was born in 1985. According to his page on IMDB, he is involved in the acting business, but he has not directed “Jaws 19”, although people at the message board reminds him of this.
By the way, the official Marty McFLY hat is available on ebay. I think the hat is cool, I might buy one.
Oh ofcourse, the self-tying “power laces”. Marty said it out loud as if he knew what they were, how did he know?
The self-tying shoelaces is actually something that is being worked on: Nike self tying shoes confirmed for 2015. Good for Nike. For me, I really only care abou hoverboards. I want my own real hoverboard. Go nerds, go invent one!
Also, Michael J. Fox received one of these self-tying shoes and he put one on and his response was “That’s insane, this is really great”.
The technology aside, the trash in the future is quite interesting too. Look at all of the LaserDiscs and CDs in the trash. It is as though they became obsolete overnight.
Eventually, Marty enters the Café 80s and spots a old Nintendo game called Wild Gunman. The game features a physical gun, the “NES Zapper”. Pay close attention to a young Elijah Wood, the little guy on the left.
The “Griff posse” features actress Darlene Vogel also known for the television series Pacific Blue (1996) a.k.a. “the hot bicycle police series”.
Leslie “Spike” O’Malley: What’s wrong, McFly? You got no scrote?!
After the now well-established wild goose chase in the town centre, Marty relaxes with his hi-tech plastic jacket, which is able to dry his hair somehow.
These smart clothes is something that is getting more and more popular in research, see Wearable technologies a look at smart clothing for 2015.
Unfortunately, we don’t have time machines, that would have solved everything and we could have newspapers that fade whenever the ripple of time propagates in the other dimensions, or something. Hover over the image below to see the front page change.
Ah, but we do have e-ink, so we can get the effect of fading newspapers at least. I know, I’m grasping at straws.
Times are changing and actors change too
As many have noticed, at the end of the original BTTF, Doc shows up with the DeLorean and tells Marty and Jennifer that something has to be done about their kids. This was originally a joke. Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis had no intention on continuing the BTTF saga with a trilogy. The first movie draft was written in 1980 by Gale and Zemeckis. There were many changes made to this script. For instance, Doc had a monkey named Shemp. The time machine was a refrigerator. This idea was ultimately scrapped in fear of children would act out the scenes from the movie and locking themselves inside refrigerators.
Read more about the Back to the Future first draft screenplay.
Many have noticed that Jennifer Parker from BTTF is not the same as BTTF2. Yes, they changed the actress from Claudia Wells to Elisabeth Shue (Karate Kid, CSI). This was due to Wells getting involved in a automobile accident which halted her acting careeer.
Another interesting thing that many people may not know is that Crispin Glover, the actor that played George McFly, was not in BTTF2 either. The reason is complicated, as he states in an interview on “Opie and Anthony”. He simply did not want to play George in the sequels. So, they used Jeffrey Weissman to play the role of George. This was the reason why we see “George” hanging upside down after the golfing incident. This was a way to make it less obvious that Glover was not in the movie. According to Glover himself, they used a mold of his face from the first movie to put on the other actor. Also, when Marty goes back to 1955 in the “enchantment under the sea” dance, they re-used the footage from the first film. These two instances was the basis for Glover suing the producers. This suit lead to new laws in using an actors likness in a movie, which is very good. Listen to the interview Crispin Glover on Opie and Anthony.
The first choice to play Marty was Michael J. Fox, but he was busy filming the sitcom “Family Ties”. The role was then offered to Eric Stoltz (Mask) and they actually shot five weeks of footage with him as Marty. At that time, the producers both thought that Stoltz version of Marty wasn’t funny enough, so they had to let him go. It just so happened that Michael J. Fox was available for night shoots, so he worked on Family Ties during the daytime and BTTF during at night. They reshot all the scenes and the rest is history.
Although all scenes were reshot, Eric Stoltz can still be seen in BTTF Youtube clip proof of Eric Stoltz still being in Back to the Future.
The “made up” vs the “real deal”
We now have the benefit of looking at the actors and actresses and see how they actually look, 30 years into the future. The make up department had to add gray hairs, wrinkles and fat, but how far from the mark were they?
Leftmost photo is of Elisabeth Shue circa 1989, next Jennifer Parker in 2015 (made up in 1989) versus Elisabeth Shue in 2015.
Next we have Michael J. Fox 1989, Marty McFly 2015 (made up in 1989) and Michael J. Fox, 2015.
And at last, Lorraine McFly who has, I believe, the most varied make up of them all.
The leftmost is herself in 1985, 24 years old. The next photo is the 1985 version of Lorraine we start with in BTTF, right next to it we see the Lorraine from the end of the first movie, the happy version who looks the most normal. Next to that we have the alternate timeline version 1985A, “Lorraine with the big boobs” and the rightmost photo is of Lea Thompson today. Lea is as I write this 54 years old and she looks stunning. I bet she did some rejuvenation herself, I’m sure. In fact, she was on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014 and danced to the film’s theme song “Power of Love”. You can see the banner reading “Enchantment under the sea”, see Lea Thompson performs back to the future theme power of love on Dancing with the Stars 2014.
Read more about her make up at The make up gallery on Back to the Future.
Did I miss something?
A thing that people might miss is that in the alternate 1985, where Biff is rich, the Biff tower is built on the clock tower. I re-noticed this as I rewatched the movie just the other day.
Marlene, Martys daughter is played by Michael J. Fox, whaaat?
The old Marty McFly has two ties?!
Back to the future 2 is probably my favorite movie of all time. I watched it as a kid and still love it as an adult. When the year 2000 arrived, all the people who were kids in the eighties wished for a future as imagined by Hollywood. Why didn’t we get flying cars? Why don’t we have hoverboards?
In the world of science fiction everything is possible. I always enjoy to step into that world of movie magic and wonder if we one day can get a robot that can walk my dog, if I had one. A robot. …and a dog.
Let me conclude this post with, my name is Matz, that I know for sure. However, as far as I understand sports, the Cubs has not won the world series as the movie predicted. However, the Mets, who are more likely to actually win it, has a player named, wait for it… Steven Matz. The universe will implode because of this.
Additional notes (Oct 22)
Doc Brown and Marty McFLY visits Jimmy Kimmel Live from the past. They are surprised by today’s technology and what we actually do with it.