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November 11, 1997 - Back to the Future 4 / another rumor

Scooped on Saturday, October 24, 2009

There's been a tantalizing report that a script may exist for a proposed television movie titled Back to the Beginning. According to a source that spoke to Stephen M. Clark, Amblin Productions had a script commissioned 4 or so years ago: in the script a young Marty McFly first meets Doc Brown, who's considered to be pretty much a crazy old man. At first the young Marty takes part with the other neighborhood kids in playing mean-spirited tricks on the Doc, like toilet papering his home, but eventually Marty realizes that the Doc is simply a somewhat-unusual inventor and not a sinister old man as Marty's friends would have him believe.

Stephen M. Clark explains why he believes the project to actually exist somewhere in Amblin's vault: "The story behind this is that in 1993, I know for a fact through the office of Bob Gale (BTTF screenwriter/producer) that there were some very SERIOUS talks about doing a fourth movie or some other type of similar continuation with the BTTF series. Universal was in dire need of some hit movies during that time, as they were in a drout. The BTTF Ride was getting ready to open in Hollywood, and so Universal was giving the series some serious consideration for a reprisal. But two key factors killed the talks at that time: Jurassic Park opened in theaters and rocked Universal's foundation, and CBS cancelled the BTTF cartoon series. These talks were being held around May of 1993.

"In 1995, I had a phone conversation with Alan Sutton at Universal marketing (now a Senior VP of Marketing for Universal), who told me then that two years prior to our conversation, there had been serious plans to turn BTTF into a weekly television series, but that the idea had been put on indefinite hold for reasons unbeknownst to him. That conversation validated the information I had been given by an assistant in Bob Gale's office in 1993."

A second reply also came to Clark's attention, this time from a person who also claimed to have seen the BTTF MOV script in Amblin's vaults. The source said that the story featured a pre-teen Marty starting to make friends with Doc Brown, and possibly providing inspiration for the Doc to eventually construct his DeLorean time machine as a result of the death of one of Marty's friends.

Now that Zemeckis has allied himself with Spielberg's DreamWorks, the possibility exists that the studio may resuscitate the franchise as a spin-off series or a movie of the week.

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