Why Disney rejected Back to the Future


Back to the Future is widely considered a sci-fi and fantasy classic, so why did Disney turn down the offer to secure the rights to the film?

Considering the accolades Return to the future he now contends, it was wrong for any major study to reject him, so why Disney stream the film in the early 1980s? Return to the future (1985), now considered nationally as one of the best films of all time, was a cultural phenomenon at its premiere, becoming the highest grossing film of the year ahead of franchise films. Rambo First Blood: Part II Y Rocky iv. Not uncommon in a Spielberg-endorsed fantasy movie, Return to the future It was also nominated for several Academy Awards and its title track, “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis, and the news skyrocketed in popularity around the world.

The sci-fi and fantasy elements of the time travel movie, appearing as an alien figure from “Darth Vader” in the 1950s, and creating fashions 30 years before they existed, are what most of audiences take from Return to the future, although the film is not without controversial elements. When Marty lands in 1985 in 1955, he is tasked with trying to get his parents to bond in adolescence. In his attempts, Marty unwittingly becomes the object of his mother Lorraine’s affection, making the conflict uncomfortable for both Marty and the public. Even worse than simply rejecting his mother’s advances, Marty devises a plan with feigned sexual advances on Lorraine so that her father George can be the hero and save her. The film ends well, and even better, for the entire McFly family in 1985, although it is a wonder how Marty was able to easily return to family life after his interactions with his teenage mother.

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Return to the future writer Bob Gale revealed in a interview that the film had been rejected at least 40 times. One such production company that denied the film multiple times was Walt Disney Productions, citing that the film was too daring to fall under their brand. Disney is known for its family-oriented themes, and a movie involving the incestual undertone of a mother pushing her son to insinuate herself was too suggestive for them to endorse. Not only did the script contain the implications of a mother-son romance, but one scene featured Biff attempting to sexually assault Lorraine in a car.

Back to the future Marty and Lorraine

In addition to being offered to Disney, director Robert Zemeckis looked to studios like Columbia Pictures which initially turned down Return to the future before securing the rights in an intellectual property agreement. When Return to the future was first released to Columbia, the creators thought it would align with their raunchy teen comedies like Animal house, Fat, Y Fast times at Ridgemont High. Columbia President Frank Price ironically believed Return to the future He was too tame and passed the second draft of the film, though he ended up securing the rights in a trade at a time when Universal needed to regain the rights to a Columbia project.

The director of Universal Studios already made some changes to the script once it was secured, including an attempt to title the film. Pluto spaceman, changing Doc Brown’s name from simply Professor Brown, making the name after Marty Lorraine’s mother, and changing Doc’s pet from a chimpanzee to a dog, though the number of emendations Disney probably would have made far outweighs some adjustments. in the details. Return to the future It’s a beloved cult classic despite its comic incestuous themes and a Disney take on it could have meant destroying much of what makes the movie appealing to adults and kids alike. Considering the cultural domain Return to the future still has and the aftermath it generated, Disney it probably still hurts to miss out on the opportunity to produce it and secure the intellectual property rights, imagine Universal Studios Return to the future ride at Disneyland.

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