“Great Scott!” Back to the Future debuted in theaters in July 1985 — and has been a major pop culture staple ever since.
Michael J. Fox stars as teenager Marty McFly, who travels back in time from 1985 to 1955 with eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and meets his parents as high school students. Marty gets involved with his parents’ younger selves, running the risk of altering his future forever and narrowly escaping back to his own timeline before it’s too late.
The quirky action comedy spent nearly three months as the No. 1 movie in America and scored countless nominations, including Best Original Screenplay at the 1986 Academy Awards. Fans went wild for the film, which spawned two highly successful sequels in 1989 and 1990. While its legacy in the entertainment industry is undeniable, the movie had an even bigger impact on its stars than on its generations of fans.
“I didn’t think about having a film career,” Fox said during a 2001 interview for the Archive of American Television. “There was a silliness to the role that I think they kind of pictured me for. … Basically within a week, I was doing both jobs. I’d do Family Ties in the daytime and I’d do Back to the Future at night, I was working 18, 19, 20 hours. … Then all of a sudden it was a huge hit.”
Thanks to Back to the Future, Fox’s career reached completely new heights. More than 30 years later, the cast of the beloved movie still look back at their time filming it as fondly as ever. Fox and his costars reminisced on the project during a remote reunion hosted by superfan Josh Gad in May 2020 to celebrate the movie’s upcoming milestone anniversary.
“I didn’t really have any idea that this movie would still have people that want to talk about it. That’s so incredible,” actress Lea Thompson said at the time, before playfully recreating one of her most iconic scenes with Fox and Gad, who stood in for Crispin Glover.
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