Is Universal Rebooting Back to the Future? Not So Fast…

Feb 19, 2015

Back to the Future is arguably one of the most beloved movies of all time, and one that people want to see left alone. Earlier this afternoon, the internet got caught up in a tweet by Universal Home Entertainment, saying the future was coming, with the hashtag #BTTF2015, which you can see below.

As many saw the tweet, speculation and anger quickly erupted, with many assuming the beloved time travel film starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd was being remade. But it’s time to pump the breaks, and take a deep breath. For a film that’s so beloved, it’s understandable that fans get edgy when their favorite films get put up on the remake block. But don’t worry fans, there’s an explanation for the tweet, and why the film isn’t being remade any time soon.

As mentioned above, the twitter account in question is actually from Universal Home Entertainment, not Universal Pictures. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Back to the Future, and it’s a safe bet that Universal Home Entertainment is getting ready to release a 30th Anniversary edition of the beloved film. This is an easy way to get some new word of mouth about the release out early, creating some hype. Universal Home Entertainment would not be making the announcement of a film series reboot, so that’s strike one on that idea.

Also, while it’s a stretch, there’s also a chance that Universal Home Entertainment is finally releasing Back to the Future: The Animated Series on DVD, which has not seen an official release since the days of Laserdisc. Fans have been clamoring for an official release of the popular cartoon continuation for some time, which only lasted twenty six episodes. Tying a release of the series into the first film’s 30th Anniversary could be a smart move on their part, and would make fans of the cartoon very happy. It’s a long shot, but there’s still a chance none the less.

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Back to the Future the animated series

The real reason there won’t be a reboot strictly lies with those behind the scenes, in Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Steven Spielberg. For those not aware, a Back to the Future reboot couldn’t happen without the approval of all three parties involved. Back on BTTF.com in 2010, Bob Gale put to rest any doubts of a sequel or remake to the series:

As both Robert Zemeckis and I have stated repeatedly over the years, we have no plans or desires to make another Back To The Future movie - not a Part 4, nor a remake of Part 1. Nor does Universal or Amblin Entertainment have any such plans. How do we know? Because, per our contracts with these companies, no Back To The Future sequel or remake can even be scripted without discussing it with us first. No such discussions have taken place. We are very proud of the Trilogy as it stands and we want to leave it as is.”

Then again last year, in an article with Yahoo!, Gale once again made his feelings towards a reboot or sequel of the series abundantly clear:

Let’s face it, we’ve seen a lot of sequels that are made years and years later and I don’t think I can name one that’s any good [or] that lives up to the originals. I don’t think you can recapture it.

So for fans worried that Back to the Future is being rebooted or sequelized, you can rest easy knowing that Marty McFly and Doc Brown are resting easy, with no remake or reboot anywhere on the horizon. It’s great to know that there’s one series that is untouchable to Hollywood executives that might get the bright idea of trying to refuel the Delorean for another go. While the tweet may be alarming, it’s nothing to worry about. This is early promotional work for a new release of the film for its 30th Anniversary, and that’s something pretty exciting in and of itself.

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Back to the Future is my favorite film of all time, and I’m glad it’ll be left untouched. I can only hope that Universal Home Entertainment has something special up their sleeve for their new release, because the blu-ray trilogy box set had a great documentary that spanned all three films that will be hard to top. It would be cool to see The Animated Series finally get an official release as well, but I’m not holding my breath there. Hopefully those worried there’s remake on the way will rest easy now.

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