Back to the Future is arguably one of the most perfect films ever made. It’s the rare science fiction comedy that doesn’t go-full parody, instead finding humor in its two perfectly cast leads and the fish-out-of-water storyline. While its two direct follow ups aren’t as universally beloved, Part II and Part III hold a special place in the hearts of fans, and the trilogy as a whole has permeated the zeitgeist. So, unlike the other big genre franchise of the ‘80s, like Indiana Jones or Ghostbusters, why has the Back to the Future series been spared more sequels or a big Hollywood reboot? Turns out, it all comes down to artistic integrity.
So, let’s get this out of the way; the chances that a Back to the Future 4 will ever happen seem very, very slim – at least in the lifetime of Robert Zemeckis. The writer-director of the original trilogy still holds the sequel rights to the series, and has been adamant that a fourth movie or reboot is out of the question. Producer Frank Marshall has been equally dismissive of another follow-up, too, saying just three years ago:
“Yeah [we won’t reboot Back To The Future], as long as I have my say. No, that one exists just like E.T. – we’re never touching those. I love watching it.”
While it’s rare for studios to have restraint when sequelizing popular properties, the filmmakers behind the scenes often forsake a quick buck in favor of a meaningful story. To Zemeckis and Marshall, the classic trilogy has a solid beginning, middle and end, so to continue onward would seem rather futile.
On top of that, while those who worked on Part II love to talk about how accurately they portrayed the far-off year of 2015 in the movie, that future is nearly a half a decade in our past, and it’s still considerably different than real life. Would the series have to address our lack of Jaws 19, thus robbing the first BttF sequel of its best moments? I’d rather not find out.
That being said, Doc Brown star Christopher Lloyd has been very vocal about his willingness to return for a fourth film in the series. As recently as this year, the actor stated he would like to see a new BttF head into production sooner rather than later, hopefully tackling climate change in the process. Personally, I would never, ever be opposed to seeing Doc team up with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) on the big screen one more time, as long as the story is worth their while. But I think most fans would agree they’d rather not see a Part IV than have Back to the Future‘s legacy tarnished with an unnecessary sequel.
What do you think, though? Would you like to see another Back to the Future film, or is this a franchise best left in the past? Let us know in the comments below.