When I first saw Back To The Future II, as a kid of 15, I didn't realise that Crispin Glover (Michael J. Fox's father George McFly) was not present in the movie but had been replaced by a "double" that was always shot from the back (or upside down) and wore prosthetics in the scenes in which George was acting. In other instances, when they used the footage of the first episode, you can only see the back of Glover. A few years later, when I watched the movie again and noticed his replacement, I found out that he had a "disagreement" (to put it lightly) with the producers/director and that he has been "cut" from the saga.

Yesterday, while I was reading this article, I've stumbled upon the following interview with Glover

In which he explains his version of the story. Apart from the legal and litigation aspects of the story, which do not interest me very much, I was curious about some of Glover's assertion. According to the actor (at circa 1:25 in the video above), also because of his questioning the original ending, some changes were made to the original script of the first episode. Glover goes as far as calling some particulars of the original version of the finale "offending", especially if seen with today's eyes.

Towards the end of the clip (8:20 circa) he also states that, in the original version of the Back To The Future's screenplay, Biff was not supposed to end up as the McFlys subordinate. Glover then ends up the interview joking about the fact that maybe someday he'll "write everything down in a book".

After all the preamble, my question is the following: is there any evidence of any substantial (or not so substantial) changes made to the original screenplay, as stated by Glover? And, if so, what changes were made?

  • 1
    Just want to check because the question isn't 100% clear - are you asking if the Back to the Future screenplay was changed as a result of Crispin Glover not liking some aspects of it, or are you asking if the Back to the Future Part II screenplay was changed after Crispin Glover decided not to return for the sequel? Oct 23, 2015 at 13:38
  • 1
    @DrRDizzle "Biff was not supposed to end up as the McFlys subordinate" is the ending of the first movie.
    – BCdotWEB
    Oct 23, 2015 at 13:41
  • 1
    @DrRDizzle : the first one ;) ... sorry if it's a little messy, I'll try to edit a little bit
    – Pesetas74
    Oct 23, 2015 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


The screenplay was very much in flux during the filming, which is reflected in the official novelization by George Gipe which differs significantly from the released movie in numerous places.

Ryan North offers an in-depth analysis of the differences between both on his "B to the F: The Novelization of Back To The Future" tumblr, which is also available as a Kindle ebook (currently at 4.8 stars after 52 customer reviews). An epub version is also available.

He discussed the ending of the movie in an interview with Comics Alliance on 21 October 2015:

CA: On the subject of writing, do you think that in a world without Star Wars and, apparently, Star Trek, George McFly’s hit novel A Match Made In Space is actually any good?

RN: I think it’s a lot better than the ending in the first draft of the film, where George McFly became a professional boxer because he got really good at punching people after he punched Biff, then went to his high school yearbook, opened it up to the photo of the big dance, looked at Calvin, remembered how his son Marty looks, and then shook his head and said, “Nah…. couldn’t be!”

Other differences between the original screenplay and the resulting movie are listed at Futurepedia - The Back to the Future Wiki.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .