Back to the Future was one of the most memorable movies of the 1980s. In short, it featured a teenager named Marty McFly traveling back in time in a DeLorean that has been modified by the mad scientist Dr. Emmett Brown. Unfortunately, he prevents his parents from meeting up with one another, thus forcing him to intervene in the timeline for the purpose of safeguarding his future existence. There are some moments of tension mixed into the narrative, but in the end, Marty doesn’t just ensure his own existence but also manages to ensure much happier outcomes for his loved ones. The people behind Back to the Future had to overcome a fair number of challenges before the script could be turned into a movie. However, once the move came out, it proved to be a huge success. For proof, consider the fact that it spent 11 weeks in the number one position, which played an important role in enabling it to make more than $385 million at the box office. Said figure prompted the making of two more movies which proceeded to earn about $332 million and $244 million at the box office respectively.
Should There Be a Back to the Future 4?
Based on this, it should come as no surprise to learn that there is a fair amount of interest from the Back to the Future fandom. This can be seen in how there is a petition for the making of Back to the Future 4 at this very moment. However, there are a number of reasons why it might be better for the hypothetical movie to never turn into reality:
There Isn’t a Great Deal of Creator Interest
It would be an exaggeration to say that there is no creator interest in a hypothetical Back to the Future 4 whatsoever. However, it would also be an exaggeration to say that there is a lot of it. Currently, the rights to the Back to the Future franchise are held by the co-writer Robert Zemeckis, who has expressed a very clear lack of interest in either a potential reboot or a potential remake of the original Back to the Future movie. Likewise, his co-writer Bob Gale has stated that he has no interest in seeing another Back to the Future movie unless it features Michael J. Fox playing the role of Marty McFly because as far as he is concerned, the franchise isn’t the franchise without Fox in it. The person who has come closest to expressing an interest in a hypothetical sequel is Christopher Lloyd who played Doc Brown. However, even then, his interest in reprising his role was contingent on a couple of conditions. One, Lloyd was willing to return provided that the other members of the cast as well as the creative team returned. Two, Lloyd was willing to return provided that there was a script that was worth shooting.
It Is Difficult to Imagine the Original Cast Making a Return
Some of the cast for the Back to the Future franchise were recast for the various movies. However, the most critical characters of Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and Biff Tannen remained consistent from movie to movie. Unfortunately, while the actors for each of these three characters are still around, having them reunite in a new Back to the Future movie would be complicated by the fact that Marty McFly’s actor Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s disease.
At one point in time, Fox’s career was flourishing. Certainly, the Back to the Future franchise played a big part in it. However, he had a number of other notable roles, with the result that he achieved considerable commercial success on top of numerous awards and accolades. Sadly, Fox started showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in 1991, though he didn’t get a proper diagnosis of his condition until 1992. By 1998, he had decided to go public with his condition, and by 2000, he had retired from his acting career for the most part because of a worsening of his symptoms.
For those who are unfamiliar, Parkinson’s disease can produce symptoms such as tremors, rigid muscles, impaired postures, and even a loss of what should be automatic movements. On top of this, people with the condition can see significant changes to how they speak, thus resulting in potential outcomes such as softer speech, slower speech, slurring, and hesitation. As such, while Fox has appeared in a small number of roles since his partial retirement in 2000, it is difficult to imagine him making a return to a hypothetical Back to the Future 4.
The Narrative Is Complete
There are some franchises that are crying out for a follow-up so that interested individuals can have the satisfaction of a completed story. In fact, if the Back to the Future franchise had stopped after the second movie, it would be an excellent example of such franchises because that would have left the overall narrative at a cliffhanger. However, it did not, meaning that there is no real narrative need for a Back to the Future sequel.
Granted, the ending of the Back to the Future franchise is open-ended enough to support further stories in the setting. However, it is difficult to imagine more stories centered on the original characters without stretching things past the point of plausibility even for a franchise that isn’t particularly concerned with the believability of its core conceits. By the time of the third movie, the people behind the franchise had already been forced to go into the distant past, which was after an exploration of both the near past and the near future. Certainly, a new Back to the Future movie could concern itself with new stories further out in the timeline in one direction or another, but that runs right into the issue of whether that would result in something worth watching or not.
The Cultural Landscape Is Oversaturated with Reboots and Remakes
On a final note, it should be mentioned that the current cultural landscapes is oversaturated with reboots and remakes because of the entertainment industries’ commercial interest in appealing to their customers’ sense of nostalgia. Some of these efforts have resulted in excellent entertainment. However, others have had much less encouraging outcomes. Given the aforementioned factors, it is difficult to imagine a Back to the Future 4 being the former rather than latter, meaning that it is best to leave the franchise alone unless something new and amazing and pretty much 100 percent unforeseen comes up.