To Be Continued...
It's quite well known that Back to the Future 2 and Back to the Future 3 were shot back-to-back, in what was then a stunning move for a major studio. But while we think of the films as a trilogy now, a second Back to the Future wasn't always a given. From 1985 to 1955 and back again, Back to the Future works fantastically as a standalone story, sending Marty back to a present even better than he'd left it. Sure, there's that fun little cliffhanger, but director/creator Robert Zemeckis and cowriter/producer Bob Gale have said that last scene was something they put in just for fun. The words "To Be Continued" weren't in the theatrical version. (Yes, even if you know somebody who swears they saw "To Be Continued" in the theater, just like the folks who swear they saw Sinbad in a genie movie, it never actually happened.) "To Be Continued" was added in the home video release. The first film was so successful that the studio planned to move forward with or without the original team. Thankfully, Zemeckis and Gale agreed to return to make not one but two Back to the Future sequels.
Marty was nearly a draft dodger.
In early drafts of Back to the Future 2, Marty travels back to 1967. As the Vietnam War divides the country, Marty is arrested because he doesn't have a draft card. Hey, he could have joined the Navy or the Coast Guard. We know he had the jacket for it.
Crispin Glover made peace with Robert Zemeckis.
The original Back to the Future had one of the most amazing ensemble casts of the 80s. But the sequel wasn't exactly smooth sailing. In probably the best-known trivia surrounding Back to the Future 2, Crispin Glover didn't appear in the sequels, and he successfully sued after another actor was made to look like him with the use of prosthetics, hats, sunglasses, and camera angles. It's one thing to recast a role, as they did with Marty's girlfriend Jennifer when Claudia Wells left the franchise to care for her ailing mother. But this was something different. Glover also sued because he wasn't paid for the reuse of footage with him in it, which resulted in new Screen Actors Guild rules designed to protect against this. What's perhaps lesser known is that Glover and Zemeckis made up. Glover played Grendel in the director's 2007 3D mo tion-capture fantasy movie, Beowulf.
No, Back to the Future 2 didn't accurately predict the World Series.
While we're dispelling myths, no, Back to the Future 2 didn't predict the Florida Marlins would win the 1997 World Series, or the Cubs would win in 2016. After all, Back to the Future 2 takes place in 2015. Speaking of which, whatever day it is today, is not the day Marty traveled to. October 21, 2015, is the actual day. To the film's credit, among the many Back to the Future Easter eggs, it did predict that Florida would have a Major League team (one represented by a gator, not a marlin) and as a nod to producer Bob Gale's long-suffering fandom, that the Cubs may in fact someday return to the World Series. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016, over a century since their last World Series win.
It did predict Pepsi Perfect (sorta).
"Hey, give me a Pepsi Free!" Pepsi Free was a real thing in 1985. PepsiCo has changed the designs, shapes, and available variations of their trademarked soda over the years. By the time Marty gets to 2015, he knows better than to ask for a Tab or a Pepsi Free. Like the guy from Suicidal Tendencies, all he wanted was a Pepsi. What emerges, of course, is a Pepsi Perfect. To commemorate Back to the Future day in real life October, 2015, Pepsi actually released a limited edition Pepsi Perfect. It's like one of those classic time-travel conundrums brought to life - if John Connor didn't send Kyle Reese back in time, John Connor would have never been born. But if he hadn't been born, he could have never sent his father back in time... It's heavy.
There are some familiar cars in Back to the Future 2.
John DeLorean famously thanked the Back to the Future team for keeping his dream alive with Back to the Future and Back to the Future 2 contains some nods to other iconic sci-fi fantasy vehicles, as well. Namely, there's a clear shot of the StarCar, from the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter. There's also a glimpse of a Spinner vehicle, the type of flying car made famous in the Ridley Scott cinema classic Blade Runner.
Back to the Future 2 was Elijah Wood's first movie.
The future Frodo Baggins of The Lord of the Rings trilogy made his onscreen debut in the Back to the Future trilogy, as one of the video game playing kids in the Café 80s.
Back to the Future gave us Bill Nye the Science Guy.
After the conclusion of the trilogy, the adventures of Doc Brown, his family, and Marty continued on Saturday mornings on CBS. Michael J. Fox didn't return for the animated series, but Christopher Lloyd was in the live action scenes that bookended each episode. Mary Steenburgen returned as Clara Brown and Tom Wilson voiced Biff. In the live action scenes, a technical advisor on the show named Bill Nye played Doc Brown's lab assistant. This eventually led to Nye getting his own TV show. Also of note: in the animated segments, Doc Brown was voiced by Dan Castellaneta, who by then was already busy playing some character named Homer on The Simpsons.
Biff to the Future.
The Animated Series adventures continued in the pages of Harvey Comics for a brief time in 1992. In more recent years, Bob Gale co-wrote some Back to the Future stories for IDW, including a story detailing the first meeting of Marty and Doc Brown, which was released on the Back to the Future II centric date of October 21, 2015. He's also responsible for Back to the Future: Biff to the Future, which details Biff's Sports Almanac-fueled rise to the power he wields in Back to the Future 2.
No more Back to the Future movies.
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale worked on the Back to the Future Saturday morning cartoon, but have since clarified that those adventures should be viewed more as "what if" situations, and are not canonical when it comes to the Back to the Future mythology. Yes, they caved into the studio's wishes for sequels, there have been comics books, but Gale has said the graphic adventure from Telltale Games, which he worked on, is the closest to a Part IV we'll ever get, aside from the 2015 short-film Doc Brown Saves the World, which the pair made for the 30th anniversary of the original film's release. Both franchise co-creators remain adamant that they don't want to see Back to the Future rebooted, or remade, by them or by anyone, ever.