Back to the Future writer asks Universal to destroy censored version of sequel after Netflix controversy

Roisin O'Connor
Michael J Fox in the censored scene from Back to the Future II: Universal Pictures/screengrab/YouTube

Back to the Future screenwriter Bob Gale has asked Universal Pictures to destroy a censored version of the sequel after it was streamed on Netflix in the US.

Fans of the cult franchise were disappointed after being met with the edited version of Back to the Future II, which changes a scene in which Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) discovers the sports almanac he needs has been replaced by Oh La La magazine.

The edit was apparently made to make the film seem more family friendly, but fans were unhappy with the poor quality of the cut and the fact the scene had been edited at all.

Gale has since blamed the edit on Universal, who “somehow furnished Netflix an edited version of the movie”.

“I learnt about it some ten days ago from an eagle-eyed fan, and had the studio rectify the error,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“The version now running is the uncensored, unedited, original version.”

“Apparently, this was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover. I asked that the studio destroy this version.

“FYI, Netflix does not edit films – they only run the versions that are supplied to them,” he continued. “So they’re blameless. You can direct your ire at Universal, but I think they will be a lot more careful in the future – and with ‘the future’."

The cast of Back to the Future recently took part in a virtual reunion for a special reading of iconic scenes.

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