There are few Hollywood blockbusters that have ever come as close to perfection as Back to the Future. The time traveling adventure captured lightning in a bottle, and for 35 years has remained one of the most beloved and rewatchable movies in history. There’s hardly a soul out there who doesn’t love Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s first adventure, and audiences would definitely be on board with the idea of a fourth installment.
A reboot or a remake would be viewed as sacrilege, though, and Robert Zemeckis has no intention of giving up the rights anyway, leading to a theoretical Part IV being the only chance to see the characters back together again. Nostalgia-driven sequels aren’t always the best idea, however, and there’s every chance the end result would end up harming the legacy of the original trilogy rather than enhancing it.
Co-writer Bob Gale recently explained why a new version wouldn’t work, and listed plenty of tie-in media that he felt contributes to the mythology, while stars Claudia Wells and James Tolkan admitted in a recent virtual panel that a fourth movie won’t ever happen. Tolkan, who played Hill Valley High principal Mr. Strickland, was pretty definitive in his statement, saying:
“There’s always talk of, ‘Someday he’s going to do a Part IV’. We’ve done it, it’s done. One, two, and three, please. We’re quite happy with that.”
Wells, who was replaced as Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer Parker by Elisabeth Shue, echoed those sentiments and confirmed that the majority of the major players simply aren’t interested.
“Bob Gale has always been very adamant about, ‘There is no Back to the Future IV‘. I was doing a Q&A once with Christopher Lloyd at this theater where they had shown Back to the Future. One of the guys in the audience did Brokeback to the Future, and Chris looked at him, he goes, ‘That’s Back to the Future IV because it’s not going to happen otherwise’. Everyone says no.”
Zemeckis has essentially said that Back to the Future will remain untouchable until he’s dead, and even then there’s plenty of better ideas out there than remaking, rebooting or sequelizing a movie that nobody could ever hope to improve on. After all, Hollywood already faces accusations of creative bankruptcy as it is.