Marty and Doc Brown are back in action – arriving in 2015 to stop Marty’s son from winding up in jail. Here are 11 surprising facts about Back to the Future Part II…
1) Michael J Fox found out about the sequel from the VHS tape
Fans of the original movie had to wait four long years for the sequel. There was uncertainty as to whether or not another installment was on the cards. So much so, that the movie’s lead actor, Michael J Fox, wasn’t even told about the sequel initially. He didn’t find out about it until he was watching the original on VHS, and noticed the words ‘to be continued’ at the end of the film. He quickly contacted his agent to make sure he was still playing Marty.
2) Elijah Wood’s first film
Long before he agreed to take the One Ring to Mordor, a very fresh faced Elijah Wood appeared in Back to the Future Part II. He’s one of the youngsters in the diner, who are both very unimpressed with Marty’s shooting skills on the Wild Gunman arcade game; which itself is a nod to Back to the Future Part III’s Wild West setting!
3) Crispin Glover didn’t actually appear in the film
Crispin Glover, who famously played Marty’s father, lovable bookwork George McFly, in Part I, didn’t actually return for the second movie. Instead, they had the actor portraying his character hanging upside down, and re-used footage from the first movie. Glover was furious that the production had used his likeness without his permission, and started a law suit against Universal. It was settled out of court for an enormous $765,000.
4) Mad dog hoverboard
Griff – the grandson of Biff – rides a hoverboard named Pit Bull. However, this wasn’t the original name for it. In the first draft of the script, it was called ‘Mad Dog,’ to foreshadow Biff’s Back to the Future Part III ancestor – Mad Dog Tannen.
5) Jennifer shouldn’t have been in the car
When they created the original Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had no intention of creating a sequel. When Part II finally came into fruition, Zemeckis explained that he wished they hadn’t had Jennifer get into the car at the end of the first movie, as she’d get in Marty’s way in the sequel. That’s where the sub-plot of Doc Brown knocking her out and her being taken to the McFly home came from.
6) All Jennifer’s shots from the ending of the first movie were re-shot
Claudia Wells, who had played Jennifer in the original movie, had given up acting by the time Part II was being filmed, so that she could care for her mother. The role was re-cast, and went to Elisabeth Shue. Because the sequel starts with the ending scenes of the first film, and because Jennifer features prominently in them, they had to be re-shot with Elisabeth Shue.
7) An earthquake struck during the 2015 meal scene
Whilst working on the 2015 scene where the McFly family is sitting down for a meal, an earthquake struck during filming. The props team were terrified that everything on set would’ve moved too much to carry on filming, for continuity reasons. They were very relieved to find that everything remained in exactly the right place.
8) Mattel were swamped with parents asking to buy Hoverboards
During a ‘behind the scenes featurette’ in 1989, Zemeckis joked that hoverboards were a real thing, and had been around for years, and that they worked by floating on magnetic energy. Mattel, whose logo appears on the hoverboards in the film, became inundated with calls and letters from parents, asking how they could get their hands on a board.
9) Spielberg’s son
In the 2015 scenes, Marty is walking through the town square of Hill Valley when a holographic shark advances out of the cinema as an advert for Jaws 19. The director is named as ‘Max Spielberg.’ This is Steven Spielberg’s son, who was born in 1985.
10) Rejuvenation clinic
To show 30 years of aging between the 1955 and the 1985 versions of Doc Brown, Christopher Lloyd wore some aging prosthetics during the first movie. So that the actor wouldn’t have to wear them in Parts II and III, Doc Brown explains that he visited a rejuvenation clinic in the future.
11) The movie invented Pepsi Max
When Marty visits the diner, there are four options of Pepsi to choose from: Original, Max, Diet and Perfect. The movie was released in 1989. Pepsi Max wasn’t released until 1993; hitting European markets initially, before reaching the US in 2007.
There you have it – 11 surprising facts about Back to the Future Part II.
Back to the Future Part II trailer
Back to the Future Gift Guide
If you’re a fan of Back to the Future or you know someone who is, treat yourself or your friend to one of the awesome BTTF goodies in our gift guide!
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More Back to the Future content from Geek Soup
You’ve explored some surprising trivia about Part II, now discover some awesome facts about the original: Back to the Future: 11 Facts That’ll Make You Shout ‘Great Scott’
Then, head back to the Wild West with the third instalment in the trilogy: Back to the Future Part III: 9 Surprising Facts