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Why ‘Back to the Future’ Will Never Be Rebooted or Get a Sequel

You can only go back in time so many times.


Don’t expect Doc, Marty McFly or even Biff to jump into a time machine and go 88 miles-per-hour to activate the Flux Capacitor anytime soon. The original cast of Back to the Future recently all hung out together, but that doesn’t mean there will be a Back to the Future 4 or a reboot. In fact, one actor thinks audiences shouldn’t want to see a new entry in the series or a reboot.

Over the weekend, at Fan Expo Boston, Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine McFly), and Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen) all hung out together for a cute group photo. Fox’s caption joked that “even Biff made it,” implying they all had to time travel to get together. But will there ever be a sequel? Or a total reboot of the series? For almost a year now, fans have been punked into thinking Tom Holland is playing a new Marty McFly, most of those hoaxes are connected to Holland using the iconic character as the basis for his version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Either way, Biff actor Tom Wilson thinks that the reason why people are always wondering about a new Back to the Future is that the existing three movies are “all pretty good.” But, he also thinks, that’s the problem.

“Basically, I think America is saying, ‘Come on they’ve wrecked every other franchise with bad sequels, why not this one? C’mon, we would watch it until it sucks.'”

In essence, Wilson worries that the danger of doing more Back to the Future films is connected to a desire from the audience to see more of a good thing, but that it’s possible there isn’t much left in the DeLorean’s fuel tank to justify new movies. To put it another way, the Back to the Future story is over, and doing additional movies would only be to cash in on nostalgia, and not to tell a good, interesting story.

In 2015, the director of the original film, Robert Zemeckis, said adamantly that he would try to block a reboot of the franchise, even after his death. “That can’t happen until both Bob [Gale] and I are dead,” he said. “And then I’m sure they’ll do it unless there’s a way our estates can stop it.

So, for now, until someone goes back in time and changes the events of the classic Back to the Future movies to make the ending more friendly to a sequel, the three classic films will remain pretty much the definitive story of the McFlys, the Browns, and the Tannens, as told across nearly two centuries and at least three different alternate dimensions.