Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Back to the Future 2’: George McFly Was Almost Killed Off Because of This Off-Screen Dispute

‘Back to the Future 2’: George McFly Was Almost Killed Off Because of This Off-Screen Dispute

A behind-the-scenes disagreement nearly killed off Back to the Future’s George McFly and led to an ongoing feud between star Crispin Clover and co-writer Bob Gale.

The original film starred Glover as Marty’s shy and nerdy dad, who turned out to be an undertoned hero, thanks to his son. But the second movie put Jeffrey Weissman in the role. At the time, the recast was a silent move, and some fans didn’t even notice because the actor bore an uncanny resemblance to his predecessor. 

Glover spoke on the matter while interviewing with the AV Club in 2012. He explained that he was fired from the franchise after vocalizing his opinion on the story’s ending. By the conclusion, the Mcflys become rich, and he thought that was an unethical message. Ultimately, the ending was tweaked, but by that point, it was too late for Glover. 

“In the original screenplay, I won’t say what it was, but there was a slightly different element in the ending. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only person that said something about it because it did get changed,” he explained. “But I said, ‘Look, if we have this in our characters, if this happens, it will not be liked by people at large.’ They did change that element. But I went on beyond it because it was related to this subject matter.”

Crispen Glover Won a Lawsuit Against ‘Back to the Future’

Back to the Future’s director Zemeckis was apparently furious that the 20-year-old Glover would question the film. While Zemeckis treated the actor with professionalism, he made a point to express that he wasn’t happy with his performance. The original lead, Eric Stoltz, had already been fired, and Glover knew he could be next. 

“I felt that if I didn’t do it exactly as I was being instructed, that I would get fired—which is fair enough,” he continued. “But I was acting from a point of view of fright.”

Crispin Glover was fired, perhaps for reasons aside from his acting. His character was nearly killed off, but the creators decided to bring in Weissman instead. To make the recasting seamless, makeup artists created a prosthetic of Glover’s face for the new star to wear. Glover ultimately sued the Back to the Future production for using his likeness without permission, and he won. 

The actor said that he has since mended ways with Zemeckis. The director even cast him in 2007’s Beowulf. But Glover remains at odds with Gale. According to him, Gale spread a rumor that Glover quit the franchise after demanding $1 million to appear in the second movie, which would have been the same wage Michael J. Fox earned.