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Eric Stoltz didn't bring the funny as the original Marty McFly

October 12, 2010 |  4:33 pm

Eric-stoltz We feel so bad for Eric Stoltz right now.

Imagine if you'd been fired from a high-profile widget-making job five weeks in, but you'd gotten over it (even the boss said you were a "magnificent" widget maker) and gone on to have a respected career across the widget industry -- until years later, the evidence of your firing was dragged out to sell an anniversary edition of the widget you were supposed to have made.

Now imagine that the widget was "Back to the Future," and you were the original Marty McFly.

The unfunny McFly.


Michael J. Fox, reportedly Robert Zemeckis' first choice, was presumed unavailable for the 1985 film because of his "Family Ties" TV series gig, and Stoltz got the job. 

But five weeks into production, nobody was laughing, the filmmakers said -- at least not laughing the

way they'd expected to laugh. Fine actor Stoltz was canned, fine actor Fox was hired in his place, Zemeckis et al reshot all the McFly footage to that point, and the rest is history.

This footage has been teased for quite a while, and now you can see it in the video above, from the 25th anniversary DVD set coming out Oct. 28.

(By the way, executive producer Steven Spielberg rocks a phenomenally retro look around the two-minute mark of this older making-of video.)

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: No, still not laughing. Eric Stoltz in 2008 in the SyFy series "Caprica." Credit: Carole Segal / SyFy