Actor Jon Cryer auditioned for the role of Marty McFly in the Back to The Future franchise. Reminiscing about the experience on Twitter, Cryer revealed that Michael J. Fox was never in danger of losing the iconic role to him, and also that the original ending to the first Back to the Future movie was suspiciously similar to another property that Steven Speilberg was heavily involved in, Indiana Jones.
"And he certainly was in no jeopardy from me either (you'll see) But the #BackToTheFuture script that I read before my audition was VERY DIFFERENT than what ended up on screen."
"It opened with Marty McFly playing the Close Encounters theme on his electric guitar while he pirated a VHS cassette of the movie. And the time machine wasn't a Delorean that had to travel at 88 miles per hour and have 1.21 gigawatts of power but just... well... a time machine that needed nuclear fission and a secret ingredient that turned out to be... Coca-Cola (Swear to god). The final sequence didn't involve a clock tower or a lightning bolt, but instead finds Marty sneaking onto a atom bomb test site with his time machine to be near the nuclear fission that he needs for it to work."
Perhaps the most shocking revelation so far from this Jon Cryer audition is the fact that the time machine was not the Delorean at that point, but just a regular sci-fi contraption that needed atomic fission to work instead of the iconic 1.21 gigawatts of power. The Coco-Cola motif also feels like a bizarre addition, and as Cryer goes on to explain, it keeps cropping up all the way to the end of the story.
"The test site is complete with exquisitely detailed suburban houses and mannequins to simulate the effects of an atomic explosion on an American town. He gets the time machine in place, the atom bomb is about to go off, he's reaching for the Coca-Cola, the countdown is at 10, 9, 8... when he slips and drops the bottle!! It shatters on the ground He's all out of Coke! He panics (understandably) but then remembers: he's in the 1950's and any self respecting American suburban home has a bottle of Coke in... The refrigerator! He checks and sure enough, there's one in there."
It is here that fans of Indiana Jones might get an idea of the teased link between Back to the Future and Indiana Jones, although the link occurs by way of one of the most criticized plot points in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
"[Marty] pours [Coca-Cola] in the time machine but then realizes... Oh crap! He has to figure out how to survive an atomic explosion! Again, he panics. But then it dawns on him, there's a lead-lined box nearby, otherwise known as... A refrigerator. He climbs in, closes the door behind him, the bomb goes off, the time machine activates, and he's simultaneously shot #BackToTheFuture."
That's right, the original ending to Back to the Future regarding the protagonist surviving a nuclear explosion by taking cover inside a lead-lined fridge proved so attractive to Spielberg that he used the same premise to save Indy in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which went on to become one of the most derided parts of the film. It is thus safe to say the changes made to the original script of Back to the Future made for a far better viewing experience.