On this day 30 years ago in the US, Marty McFly went back to the future (well, the past, technically speaking) for the third and final time, bringing a sweet natured and satisfying closure to Robert Zemeckis’ beloved series that starred Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and a hot-rodded DeLorean. Released a mere six months after Part II had landed in cinemas, the film earned $244 million dollars worldwide. Set immediately after the ending of Part II, Marty travels back to 1885’s Wild West, with cowboys, cavalry charges, showdowns, locomotive steam engines, more Biff, and cameos from ZZ Top and Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers… all to save the Doc.
But did you know…
1) Michael J. Fox was integral in the decision to take Back to the Future III to the Wild West. When talk of a sequel to the 1985 original first started, director Robert Zemeckis asked Fox which time period he’d like to visit and he said the old West. “As much as Back to the Future appeals to the kid in everyone, being a cowboy appeals to the kid in everyone”. Zemeckis and the producers agreed, but decided to put the idea on hold until Part III.
2) Back to the Future Part II and III were shot back-to-back over the course of eleven weeks in 1989, which was incredibly taxing for the whole production crew, particularly Zemeckis. For about three weeks he pulled double duty, filming Part III on location in Sonora, then flying back to Burbank in the evenings to oversee post-production on Part II, which had a strict delivery and release date.
3) Both Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale are vehemently against a fourth Back to the Future movie. Their reasoning includes that Michael J. Fox is not in any shape (medically speaking) to star in them and they wouldn’t want to see anyone else as Marty McFly. Plus, the original trilogy is perfectly well-rounded and finished. ”I don’t think there should ever be a fourth sequel to anything”, said Zemeckis. “Three is a dramatic number. It’s a three-act structure… four is boring.”
This clip is an excerpt from the Making of Back to the Future Part III featured on the Blu-Ray Edition.