Back to the Future: When Jeff Goldblum was in the running to play Doc

Christopher Lloyd tells us about his hiring in the cult film by Robert Zemeckis, released in theaters in 1985.

Back to the future will return to TMC this evening. The opportunity to share an extract from our file devoted to the film in the Première Classics n ° 8 (July September 2019, with Dirty Dancing In front page), supplemented by the words of Christopher Lloyd, interviewed for n ° 15 (April-June 2021, with Inspector Harry in one). Did you know that before being chosen to play Dr. Emmett Brown, the actor had been in competition with John Lithgow and Jeff Goldblum ? If the first refused, the future interpreter of Dr. Malcolm in the saga Jurassic Park even almost got the part …

40 Years of Hollywood Blockbusters: Back to the Future (1985)

Here is the extract concerning the casting of this character:
As for the actors who could play Emmett Brown, the casting directors aim wide: Jeff Goldblum, John Cleese, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Peter Boyle, James Woods… Producer Neil Canton n is not convinced and would see Christopher Lloyd or John Lithgow as a mad scientist. Robert and Bob meet on Lloyd and invite him to meet them at Amblin’s. But the supporting actor has never heard of Zemeckis. During this summer of 1984, he toured in Mexico, was in full doubt about his career (he wondered if he had done well to go to Los Angeles to try to break into the cinema) and very much wanted to return to the theater: “I got the script and read it without committing myself. The first draft was pretty darn crazy. To be honest, I had a little trouble getting the meaning of it all. I called my agent to tell him I’m not going to Los Angeles, and I threw the script in the trash. “ Still intrigued by the name of Steven Spielberg in the production, he lets his wife convince him that he is wrong. Barely arrived in Zemeckis’ office, he falls under the spell of the director who compensates for his apparent lack of experience with his human warmth and a clear vision of what must be Back to the future. Love at first sight is mutual and Lloyd is preferred to Jeff Goldblum, who had made a strong impression (“He was probably second after Chris“, are Gale).

Back to the Future intro scene should have been very different

In a long interview retracing his career, Christopher Lloyd admits to having immediately hooked up with the director, Robert Zemeckis: “He is a very ‘real’ person, very smart. He has a keen point of view on what works and does not work in cinema. I was obviously not aware of the enormous potential of Back to the future but, chatting with Bob, I started to see Doc’s character, and I could tell he knew exactly what he wanted to do. But at the same time, he remained open to all proposals. I remember shyly submitting to him the idea of ​​Doc Brown’s long disheveled hair (…) He just said to me: ‘OK, that’s perfect!’ Confident in himself but ready to listen to others. Robert Zemeckis inspires confidence: filming with him was obvious. “

The trailer for Back to the future :

A nuclear end was initially planned for Back to the Future

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