Crispin Glover’s Legal War With Back To The Future

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Crispin Glover’s Legal War With Back To The Future

As the real date of Marty McFly’s fictional arrival into the future arrived, everyone was excited about Back To The Future again. The original cast appeared on television and Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox even reprized their classic roles on Jimmy Kimmel. There is, however, one person who will not be celebrating, and it is unfortunate.

Crispin Glover, who played George McFly, was one of the most important elements in the original movie. His comic timing and relationship with Fox’s character were the an essential part of why BTTF worked so well. But with time, we seem to have forgotten what an important role this duo meant to the film and focus only on Fox’s relationship with Doc Brown.

The Doc Brown character in the first film is relatively minor compared to George McFly. The entire screenplay is based on one simple concept. If I went back in time, would I be friends with my dad. Therefore, the main thrust of the story is father and son, not the time travel. Granted, the time travel scenes are classics, but that is not enough to propel the overall story.

There are many stories about why Glover didn’t return to the second film. Bob Gale claimed it was a money issue, Glover said it had to do with questioning Zemekis’s values on set. The only thing we know for sure is that Glover didn’t return and filmmakers found a fairly devious way to make audiences believe that Glover had returned.

When it came time to make Back To The Future 2, many audiences (including myself) thought that Glover was in the film. There are scenes with George McFly in his 70’s that are meant to make audiences believe that they are watching the same actor. As Glover reveals, this was another actor wearing a mask made from the cast they used to make him look old in the first film.

In the scenes where young McFly goes back into parts from the original movie, scenes with Glover are intercut with new scenes with another actor doing his best George McFly impression. Glover later successfully sued Gale and Zemekis and the bad blood remains to this day. It isn’t illegal to recast a role, but it is illegal to try and trick people into thinking they are watching another actor.

It’s a shame that there is so much interest again in Back to the Future and so little discussion of what a gigantic role Glover had in it’s success.

And, now for a little fun.



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