I remember how amazing the ending of the original Back to the Future was back in good old 1985. Not only had we just sat through a thrilling and hilarious film that felt like an instant classic, but then Doc shows up in a crazy outfit, telling Marty and Jennifer they’ve got to go deal with their kids. In the future. In a goddamn flying car. It was like writer/director Robert Zemeckis leaned in and said, “You liked that, did you? Well, check this shit out!” But it turns out that unforgettable closing scene wasn’t actually intended to set up a sequel at all.
With Back to the Future 2’s target future of 2015 only a month away, the folks at Uproxx decided to dig into the history of the franchise, including the fact that BTTF was never intended as a franchise starter. Speaking to Empire Magazine way back in 2010, Zemeckis said:
We’d never designed the first Back to the Future to have a sequel. The flying car at the end was a joke, a great payoff. We thought this would be really hard to unravel and do again. But when you make a movie that’s as successful as Back to the Future, it becomes this piece of corporate real estate. It becomes bigger than you as a filmmaker. You’re basically given a decision: we’re making a sequel, do you want to be involved in it or not?