Back to the Future: Christopher Lloyd Worried About Replacing Eric Stoltz with Michael J. Fox
Wait a minute, Doc!
Christopher Lloyd recently discussed the initial casting of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” before Michael J. Fox was cast in the iconic role.
As “Back to the Future” fans may already know, Stoltz filmed for six weeks of production before being let go from the project.
“Stoltz is a wonderful actor. I had no idea the change was coming,” Lloyd recalled to GQ. “One night we were shooting the mall beginning sequence, and we were asked to come to one of the trailers at one o’clock in the morning. [Steven] Spielberg was there and he made the announcement of the change.”
Lloyd was worried about rebuilding a repertoire again with a different McFly, saying, “My biggest fear, because I was really working to get Doc right, I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can get it up to do that again,’” Lloyd said. “So I was worried about it. But, it all worked out.”
As The Hollywood Reporter wrote, Stoltz was “just not the right fit for the role and the filmmakers could no longer overlook the issue.”
Prior to “Back to the Future,” Stoltz appeared in “Running Hot” and “The Wild Life.” The same year that “Back to the Future” was released, 1985, Stoltz played the lead opposite Cher in “Mask.”
Fox was brought on only after a deal was formed that he could film “Back to the Future” at night, while balancing “Family Ties” during the day.
“They just decided that they needed somebody with a comic flair,” Lloyd summed up of casting Fox. “Michael, we had a chemistry which lasted the whole time.”
Stoltz went on to star in “Say Anything,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” The Fly,” “Pulp Fiction,” and TV series “Mad About You.”
Meanwhile, Fox and Lloyd have remained friends for decades since wrapping the “Back to the Future” trilogy. The duo have reunited for multiple anniversaries of the hit film.
Lloyd added, “Kids who saw it when the film first came out, grew up and had kids who they began their lives with it. So many people have come up to me to say how I’ve made their childhood, or the film made their childhood, or they became engineers or scientists or surgeons or whatever from the effect of the film on them. Nothing else I’ve done has had that kind of impact.”
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