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Back To The Future Was Never Supposed To Have A Sequel, And Here’s Why

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BTTFendingI 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?

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How Doc Brown’s Cameo In A Million Ways To Die In The West Came To Be

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Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West was…lets just call it underwhelming. There were moments sprinkled throughout, but overall, it left much to be desired, even for fans of his trademark crass humor. That said, there was one particularly inspired scene involving an unexpected time travelling cameo from Back to the Future Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, and as the movie just hit Blu-ray and DVD yesterday, there is this new behind the scenes video that details exactly how this came to be.

This video comes from our dear, dear friends at Cinema Blend, and shows MacFarlane and the producers detailing just how this came to be. Set on the American frontier in the 1880s, A Million Ways to Die may be outlandish and foul-mouthed in a way you don’t usually associate with period westerns, but the world is consistent for the most part, with this one exception. But, as is pointed out in this video, you can squeak it in with the time travel element, after all, this is precisely when the bulk of the action in Back to the Future Part 3 goes down.

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Doc Brown & The DeLorean Are In The New A Million Ways To Die In The West Trailer

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Back to the Future 3If you didn’t already run out this weekend to see the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron joint Neighbors, you should. It really sets the bar for big, raunchy, R-rated comedies this summer, and not only is it totally hilarious, it’s way better written than it needs to be. But, science fiction fans have another reason to see this movie in the theater. One of the movies that will try to surpass Neighbors is Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West. A green band trailer for that film plays before Neighbors. This is something super new, something that hasn’t made its way online yet, so we can’t actually show it to you, but at the very end Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and the DeLorean from Back to the Future show up for a quick visit.

Our publisher, fellow science fiction addict, and all around rad guy, Josh, went to see Neighbors, and described the scene for us. The sets in A Million Ways already look a lot like those from Back to the Future Part III, when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown have an adventure in the old west. That’s not too surprising, MacFarlane is a big fan of this kind of homage, just look at what he did with Flash Gordon a few years ago in Ted, not to mention the obsessive pop culture references of Family Guy.