I know what you’re thinking. There are too many remakes already, don’t give Hollywood any more ideas. Normally, I agree, and I’d hate to see most of my beloved 80′s movies remade. (To be fair, they did a good job with Footloose.) Most of the time I’m ambivalent about remakes, but this is one case in which a remake is a good idea.
It’s not like we’ve never had good remakes before. Some of our most beloved movies are remakes. Ben Hur, Wizard of Oz, and The Muppet Christmas Carol are fantastic remakes of previous films. Each was more than just a cynical cash grab. It was an improvement over the previous version, or it added something new the original lacked. That’s the key to a proper remake: there’s a good reason for it. (Unlike the shot-for-shot remake of Psycho.) Back to the Future has a very good reason for being remade.
It’s been 30 years.
In the original movie, Marty McFly travels back in time 30 years from the 1980′s to the 1950′s. If they remade Back to the Future in the next few years, Marty would travel back thirty years from this decade to the 1980′s. The span of time from the 80′s to the 50′s is the same time period as today and the 80′s. How can that not blow your mind?
When Marty arrives in the 1950′s, everything is more primitive. Television has three stations and is only available in black and white. The cars are huge behemoths. The clothes are strange. No one knows what a Pepsi Free is, and a Walkman is so advanced it’s seen as alien technology. The 1980′s, naturally, was a technological wonderland full of DeLorians, video games, and multiple Pepsi products.
A remake would completely flip that perspective. Now the 1980′s is the primitive time, and I’d love to see the kind of culture shock a teen of this era would experience back then. (Yes, this was explored a bit in Hot Tub Time Machine, but as we all know, a DeLorian is way more awesome than a hot tub.) Suddenly there’s no such thing as DVR or TiVo. Video games are purely 8 bit affairs. Cassette tapes are the hot new music item. MTV only plays music videos.
What teens of the 80′s think of an iPhone or iPod? What if you told them you could carry all your music in your pocket? Not just an album, your entire collection? What if you told them that the guy from Knight Rider was going to sing on top of the Berlin Wall, that in a few years the Wall and USSR would be no more? That you’d be able to play video games by waving your hands? That the Red Sox finally won a World Series. (Still not the Cubs, though.)
It would be interesting, to say the least, to look back on the 30 years since that movie came out.How much has changed? How much is still the same? And where are we now compared to where we thought we’d be? This remake would be a chance to compare the real 2015 to the fictional one imagined in Back to the Future Part II. I can imagine a scene with an 80′s character, asking about the world of the 21st century, asking if we have floating skateboards and flying cars.
In many ways, Back to the Future was a love letter to the 1950′s and full of nostalgia for a simpler time.