Exclusive: Back To The Future Netflix Series In Development

Back to the Future will become an animated series on Netflix.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

Back to the Future netflix

The beloved Back to the Future franchise is developing a spinoff animated series for Netflix. According to our trusted and proven sources, the time travel series is looking to move to the streaming service for a new continuation of the story, though it is unclear whether it will directly follow the original trilogy of movies or tell a new world set in that universe. There has not been a new narrative installment of the Back to the Future series since a short film in 2015, so this is pretty big for Netflix.

There are few details currently available for what the Back to the Future Netflix animated series might involve, plot-wise, but when your protagonists have access to essentially all of time and space, there are few limits to what it could be. The original trilogy exclusively focused on the adventures of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and their attempts to alternately change events or get them back to the way they once were. But just because Back to the Future has usually focused on the McFly family doesn’t mean it has to be about Marty this time. 

There is precedent for this. From 1991-1992, CBS aired a Back to the Future animated show that primarily followed the children of Doc Brown and his Old West wife Clara (Mary Steenburgen), Jules and Verne, as they traveled through time and encountered some version of the Tannen family of bullies in basically every epoch of history. While Michael J. Fox was not involved in the earlier animated series, Christopher Lloyd appeared in live-action segments, Mary Steenburgen voiced her character, and Biff Tannen himself, Thomas F. Wilson, voiced multiple members of his fictional family throughout time.

Fortunately for the Back to the Future animated Netflix show’s prospects, Christopher Lloyd has consistently indicated his interest in continuing to appear in the franchise and seems up for just about anything. Less fortunately, Michael J. Fox has suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for many years, which makes his extended involvement a little iffier. However, Fox may be more able and willing to return to a voice-only role than a live-action one, so we can only hope. 

The Back to the Future series was created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, who reportedly have unusually tight control over the franchise and the ability to turn down reboots and remakes (unlike, say, George Lucas, who sold off his Star Wars franchise to Disney in 2012). This means that while Back to the Future has been franchised into any number of games, books, comic books, car commercials, and roller coasters, Netflix has needed to get Gale and the director of one of this year’s Pinocchio adaptations on board before anything can move forward.

It seems that the streaming giant has managed to get the pair on board, so we can finally look forward to some new Back to the Future content from Netflix in the future. That also means we might get some very interesting promotional campaigns, based on Netflix’s recent efforts. It wouldn’t be the first time for Marty and Doc.