Last week, fans were charmed by a deepfake video in which Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.’s faces were digitally inserted into a scene from ‘Back to the Future’ over those of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. The digital trickery was nearly perfectly executed and some fans have started wondering what it would be like to see Holland as Marty McFly in a reboot of ‘Back to the Future’. And it turns out, that that was perhaps a possibility at one time.
Reacting to the deepfake video, Holland divulged that at some point in the past, he had “conversations” about remaking ‘Back to the Future’. But if the idea of besmirching this classic rubs you the wrong way, relax. Holland feels the same, although he is game to play Marty McFly in one capacity.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1, Holland said:
“I’d be lying if I said there hadn’t been conversations in the past about doing some sort of remake, but that film is the most perfect film- or one of the most perfect films, one that could never be made better. That said, if [Robert Downey Jr.] and I could just shoot that one scene that they remade for fun – he could pay for it cause he’s got loads of money – I would do it for my fee and we could remake that scene. I think we owe it to deep fake because they did such a good job. … I think I’m gonna speak to Robert and see if we can try to recreate something for deep fake.”
(Do we really even need that?)
Like it or not, remakes and reboots seem to be here to stay, regardless of how many of them flop — and a lot of them do. It’s just easier to market something that people already know than sell them on something new. And some of them, like ‘Halloween’ and the Disney live-action reboots, are actually quite successful.
In 2018, Thomas F. Wilson, who played Biff in the movies, joked:
“Basically, I think America is saying, ‘Come on they’ve wrecked every other franchise with bad sequels, why not this one? C’mon, we would watch it until it sucks!”
However, original director Robert Zemeckis put the matter to rest saying:
“Oh, God no. That can’t happen until both Bob and I are dead. And then I’m sure they’ll do it, unless there’s a way our estates can stop it.”
So unlike ‘Ghostbusters’, the studio (in this case, Universal) CAN’T touch ‘Back to the Future’ even if they wanted to. As Zemeckis stated, that stipulation expires when he and his writing partner Bob Gale die, but he hopes that their heirs will fight to preserve the original even after that.
What do you think? Can ‘Back to the Future’ be remade without disrespecting the original? Or are people treating the original with too much reverence?