Michael J. Fox thinks Back to the Future should be rebooted with a female lead.
While the idea of a Back to the Future remake may put off many cinephiles, Michael J. Fox may’ve come up with something to make the potential project work. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight (via ComicBook), Fox shared how he thinks the franchise could return. According to Fox, the next logical step is changing Marty into a girl.
“I actually had this thought that if they did the movie again, they should do it with a girl as Marty. There’s something about [the franchise] that connects with people on every level. I just feel like it will come around again.”
Although Michael J. Fox suggested the idea of a Back to the Future reboot with an actress as the main lead, the reality is that a reboot won’t happen without the go-ahead from Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale. During an interview with the BTTF website in 2010, Gale stated that nor “Universal nor [producers] Amblin [Entertainment] have any such plans” on developing a sequel or reboot to the classic time travel franchise. Gale reiterated that per contracts he and Zemeckis signed with the companies, “no Back to the Future sequel or remake can be scripted without discussing it with us.”
Robert Zemeckis would double down on Gale’s statements during the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future in 2015, saying that a reboot or remake “can’t happen until both Bob and I are dead.” It’s one of the rare times when a studio’s hands are completely tied in greenlighting a sequel or reboot to a recognizable I.P. Zemeckis and Gale were instrumental in the franchise’s success, having worked together on all three installments.
Michael J. Fox is widely known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future franchise. He starred opposite Christopher Llyod, who played the scientist that takes Marty on an adventure through time with the help of a 1981 DeLorean sports car. Fox played the role of Marty McFly in all three Back to the Future films but didn’t voice the character in the animated television series.
While it’s doubtful fans will see the DeLorean pop back up on the big screen soon, it’s good to hear that Michael J. Fox is still somewhat invested in what happens to the franchise. The actor went on to headline multiple projects throughout the 1980s and 90s, including Teen Wolf, Casualties of War, Doc Hollywood, and others. In 1998, Fox revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease several years prior and became an advocate for finding a cure.
Michael J. Fox’s health issues forced the actor to take a break from Hollywood. He would later make guest appearances on television projects, including FX’s Rescue Me and CBS’s The Good Wife. The actor then officially retired in 2020 due to his declining health.
The studio could reboot Back to the Future and cast an actress to play the lead. While it may irk some who were big fans of the Michael J. Fox original film, it does align with how studios and creators want to give a new spin to an already established franchise. The most recent example is the changing of Pinhead from a man to a woman for the new Hellraiser reboot.