In the age when studio heads are mining every intellectual property within their grasp, stripping them bare of any artistic or emotional value, it’s encouraging to see at least one franchise standing up to this shameless exploitation … at least for now.
Speaking with the BBC, “Back to the Future” writer/producer Bob Gale said that fans hoping to see Marty McFly team with Doc Brown on another time-traveling adventure as they pass the torch to a new generation, a.k.a “soft reboot,” will have to wait a long time. Gale even likened such a reboot to selling “your kids into prostitution.”
“You know, you don’t sell your kids into prostitution. It was the wrong thing to do. We put ‘The End’ at the end of part three,” said Gale.
Fortunately, both Bob Gale and director Robert Zemeckis have it written in their contracts with the studio that no further sequels can be greenlit without their approval. The studio has, however, made multiple offers that they have respectfully declined.
“All the time. All the time,” Gale said regarding the offers. “‘What can we do to convince you guys to do this?’ We said, ‘Nothing.’ ‘You’ll make a lot of money.’ ‘We already made a lot of money.'”
Though we will probably not be getting another “Back to the Future” anytime soon, last year, actor Christopher Lloyd argued that the next installment should be about something “important,” like “climate change.”
“I think somehow it needs to kind of convey a message about something that’s important to everyone, universally, like climate change. Some way of incorporating whatever fever is going on at the moment into the film and keep the feeling of one, two, and three,” Lloyd told the audience at a Niagara Falls Comic-Con. “That’s a tricky, tricky deal. Because you don’t want to do another one and disappoint. So I don’t know. I’d be happy to, for myself. But we’ll see.”
All three “Back to the Future” films were entirely apolitical and were strongest when focusing on more universal themes like making the most of the time that’s been given to you or respecting the course of history or being an actual man that stands up for yourself instead of an effeminate pushover. As noted by Comicbook.com, rumors of a potential reboot have been popping into the zeitgeist for several years now, which both Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis have snuffed out repeatedly:
In 2015, when celebrating the 30th anniversary of his 1985 comedy, Zemeckis said Universal Pictures could only resurrect the franchise once both Bobs were dead. “And then I’m sure they’ll do it, unless there’s a way our estates can stop it,” he told The Telegraph.
Zemeckis extinguished calls for a fourth film again last summer when Lloyd’s willingness to reprise his role reinvigorated buzz around another sequel.
When reached for comment, Zemeckis stressed there will “never, ever be, in the most absolutely way, a Back to the Future 4. There will be no more Back to the Future.”
A recent poll from The Hollywood Reporter showed that more people would actually prefer to watch a fourth “Back to the Future” installment over popular franchises like “Star Wars,” “Toy Story,” and “Harry Potter,” most likely due to the time gap between the last installment.