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Two roles really defined Michael J. Fox’s career, Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties”, and Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” and the subsequent sequels. Everything else is beside the point, even “Teen Wolf”.
But did you know that Eric Stoltz was originally cast as everyone’s favorite time traveling skateboarder? And I don’t mean that Stoltz was cast but then replaced before production started, I mean that director Robert Zemeckis actually filmed “Back to the Future” for five weeks with Stoltz in the lead. Eventually Zemeckis decided that Stoltz wasn’t funny enough. In one of the ballsiest moves in film history he convinced the studio to let him recast and reshoot, and the rest is 80s pop culture history.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Back to the Future” the trilogy is about to be released on Blu-ray. One of the bonus features includes never before seen footage of Stoltz as McFly, and interviews with Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg discussing what they call the “horrific decision” of replacing him. I don’t imagine they feel too bad, “Back to the Future” did gross $381 million.