There isn’t a single Michael J. Fox role that I can think of that would have been made better with Eric Stoltz in his place. Maybe, just maybe, it would have worked for Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, since that lead character was kind of a jerk, but I still get shivers when I think about what Back to the Future would have been like with Stoltz as Marty McFly. (I don’t have feelings nearly as strong about Claudia Wells replacing Melora Hardin in the role of Jennifer.
Filmmaker David Guy Levy (Would You Rather?) is a big Back to the Future fan, enough so that he’s spent the last 12 years working on a revisionist comic book that presents the BTTF recasting from an original angle. Levy was inspired by a 2001 interview where screenwriter/producer Bob Gale shared his regrets over having to recast Hardin based purely on her being taller than the newly recast Fox.
And so now we have Back to Back to the Future, a six-part comic series that finds Gale and Hardin going back into the past to visit the first film’s production, but instead of switching the roles around, they allow things to play out as originally conceived.
“All I could think after reading this statement was that here was the man who wrote the most popular films ever made about time travel, and he had this major regret,” Levy explains. “So I decided I wanted to tell the story where he gets to go back in time himself, through a parody of the films he helped create, and right this wrong.”
Levy, who made sure to get all the legal issues cleared up before going through with it — I’m guessing Stoltz’s likeness was really tough to clear — is giving away the first three issues online for free. Free! In fact, you can download a PDF of the enjoyable and foundation-creating first issue HERE!