16 things you might not know about BACK TO THE FUTURE - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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16 things you might not know about BACK TO THE FUTURE

Geek Dave presents a bumper crop of trivia from the 1985 classic Back To The Future.

1. In early drafts of Back to the Future the time machine was made out of an old refrigerator, and Marty was to use the power of an atomic explosion in the Nevada desert as his way to return home. This is over 20 years earlier than Indiana Jones 'nuked the fridge' in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but maybe Steven Spielberg liked the concept as it's not too different (minus the time travel of course). Back in the 80's Spielberg thought that clearly it wasn't a good idea to have kids trying to time travel by climbing inside their parents fridge, so that was changed!

2. Another element that changed before the final script was locked in was Doc Brown's dog Einstein. Originally Einstein was going to be the Doc's pet chimpanzee.

3. Back to the Future was rejected over 40 times by every major Hollywood studio, many of them complained that it was too Disney-esque, too light in tone and that it should be more risky like "Porkys". Ironically when Disney was approached they felt it was "too dirty" and objected to the mother-and-son-in-a-car "incest" scene.

4. Everyone knows that Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly, right? Well you might not know that Michael J Fox was actually the first choice to play the lead character, but his producer on Family Ties (Gary David Goldberg) would not give him the time off to film the movie (Boo Mr Goldberg, Boo!) as it would mean he'd miss too many episodes of the show. Before Stoltz landed the part several other actors came in to read for the part including C. Thomas Howell, John Cusack and Johnny Depp. Eventually Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid) was offered the part. He turned it down as he felt the movie was just about "a kid, a car, and plutonium pills" - really?

5. Eric Stoltz got his big break by landing the lead role, and filming for Back to the Future began in late 1984. Meanwhile Michael J Fox took a role in a smaller/shorter production - a little movie you may remember called Teen Wolf. Some of the scenes for Teen Wolf were shot on Bushnell Avenue in South Pasadena, which was also being used by the Back to the Future crew for the external scenes of the McFly house. Later, Michael J Fox revealed he would watch the crew set-up and wish that maybe one day he could be in a Spielberg film (Boo Mr Goldberg, Boo!).

6. That day came pretty quickly! After a month of filming, Stoltz and director Robert Zemeckis mutually decided to part ways (Stoltz reportedly played Marty too dramatically, and was not hitting the marks for the comedy moments). Finally a deal was struck with Family Ties (about time too Mr Goldberg!) which would allow Michael J Fox to film the show from 9am to 6.30pm and then go straight to the shoot of Back to the Future where he would work until about 2.30am the following morning. That's why so much of the movie happens at night!

7. So all of Eric Stoltz scenes had to be re-filmed, however there is one short moment when the original Stoltz-McFly appears in the finished movie. When Marty is wearing the yellow radiation suit and jumps into the Delorean, that's Eric Stoltz.

8. Just like Michael J Fox was the original choice for Marty, Claudia Wells was originally cast as Marty's girlfriend, Jennifer. But because the film's start date kept getting pushed back, Wells became unavailable and so her part was recast. So when shooting began with Eric Stoltz, Jennifer was played by Melora Harden (who many of you may know as Jan from the US version of The Office). However, when Stoltz was replaced with Fox the producers didn't like the look of the new boyfriend/girlfriend, mainly because they felt that "it was not a good image to have Marty's girl be taller than he was". So Harden became a casualty of the recasting, and Claudia Wells, who was available again, came back to the role.

9. It's hard to picture anyone other than Christopher Lloyd in the role of Dr. Emmett Brown, but several other actors were seriously considered. Dudley Moore was circling the part at one time. John Lithgow was on the shortlist but he wasn't available, and so the producers quickly moved on to a younger actor, Jeff Goldblum. Yep, the Goldblum was almost the Doc, however his age went against him (he's 14 years younger than Christopher Lloyd to the day, fact fans!) and Lloyd was offered the role. Bob Gale later admitted that if Lloyd had passed on the part, it likely would've been the Goldblum!

10. Whilst on the subject of Doctor Emmett Lathrop Brown, his name contains some clever clues to his character. Applying the 'back' element of 'Back to the Future': Emmett is a phonetic representation of the word 'time' spelled backwards, and Lathrop, is almost 'portal' in reverse. Doc Time Portal anyone?

11. Professional skateboarders Per Welinder and a very young Tony Hawk were employed to assist with the skateboarding scenes.

12. Back to the Future features Billy Zane's first film role, as one of Biff's sidekicks, Match.

13. You no doubt know that as well as providing two songs for the soundtrack (The Power of Love and Back in Time) Huey Lewis has a cameo as the audition judge near the start of the film. But you might not know that it was Lewis' idea to reject the band for being "too loud", as that was something that had actually happened to him.

14. When Einstein is in the Delorean, accelerating up to 88mph, a stunt double was used. Yep, it's actually a stuntman inside a dog suit!

15. If you catch the French-dubbed version of Back to the Future you'll discover that when Marty wakes up in 1955 in his young mother's bed, she calls him Pierre Cardin instead of Calvin Klein. Similarly, in the Italian and Spanish versions 1955 Marty goes by the name of Levi Strauss.

16. After the movie was completed and shown to the studio executives at Universal, one of them felt that the name just wasn't right and was particularly concerned that the word 'future' would put of audiences, so an alternate title was suggested. I don't know about you but "Spaceman From Pluto" really doesn't have the same ring to it. Thankfully Steven Spielberg passed on his suggestion.

Check out 20 Things you might not know about Back To The Future Parts II and III

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