'Back To The Future': Watch Jon Cryer's failed audition to play Marty McFly (exclusive)

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·4 min read

Watch: Jon Cryer auditioning to play Marty McFly in Back To The Future

Earlier this year Two and Half Men star Jon Cryer revealed he had auditioned for the role of Marty McFly in the 1985 classic Back To The Future. In a long Twitter thread, he revealed details of the original pre-DeLorean script for the film, from which he auditioned.

Famously, Pulp Fiction star Eric Stoltz landed the role and began shooting on the Robert Zemeckis film for a few weeks before producers had second thoughts and replaced him with Michael J Fox. But before that, every young star in Hollywood was vying for the role, including Ben Stiller, Billy Zane, and Cryer.

Now, thanks to the new Back To The Future: The Ultimate Trilogy – which sees the iconic sci-fi trilogy released in 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever – we can see some of Cryer’s audition tape reading from the original script.

Read more: Why Back to the Future won't make a fourth film

Watch it above.

Robert Zemeckis' iconic sci-fi trilogy <i>Back To The Future</i> has been released for the first time in 4K, with a wealth of new extras. Get a glimpse of the <i>Back To The Future</i> that could have been with rare audition footage featuring now-famous celebrities including this one of <i>Two and a Half Men</i> star Jon Cryer.  <i>Back To The Future: The Ultimate Trilogy</i> is available in 4K HDR now from Universal Home Entertainment.
Get a glimpse of the Back To The Future that could have been with Jon Cryer as Marty McFly. (Universal Home Entertainment)

The new collection comes with over an hour of brand-new content such as rare audition footage from Hollywood stars Ben Stiller, Kyra Sedgwick, Cryer, Billy Zane, Peter DeLuise and C. Thomas Howell, a tour of the film’s props and memorabilia hosted by co-writer/producer Bob Gale, a sneak peek at the new musical show, and a special episode of the popular YouTube Series “Could You Survive The Movies?

The co-creator of Back To The Future has said the film would have never been the success it was if Eric Stoltz had not been replaced by Michael J Fox as Marty McFly while the film was already in production.

Writer Bob Gale, who penned the script with director Robert Zemeckis after discovering his own father’s high school yearbook, told the PA news agency: “If we had finished the film with Eric Stoltz I don’t think we would be having this conversation today, Michael was that much better.

Michael J. Fox on the set of 'Back to the Future'. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Michael J. Fox on the set of 'Back to the Future'. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Michael J Fox was perfect, it’s hard to imagine anybody else as Marty.

“It’s hard to imagine anybody else in any of those key roles really, they grew into their parts thanks to their own talent, thanks to Bob Zemeckis’s directing, thanks to what was a pretty good script, and everything else that was in support of the picture.”

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The film is now 35 years old but Gale said: “So much of it is extremely vivid, it is in a weird way kind of like watching a home movie.”

WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 01: Jon Cryer attends World Premiere Of Sony Pictures Animation And Marvel's "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse"  at Regency Village Theatre on December 01, 2018 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
Jon Cryer attends World Premiere Of Sony Pictures Animation And Marvel's "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse", 2018. (Leon Bennett/WireImage)

However, the writer said it would be unlikely the film, which is based on an original idea rather than a pre-existing property, would be made in 2020.

Watch: A trailer for the Back To The Future remaster

He said: “I think we would have a very hard time getting it made because it’s really hard to get something original made and then in today’s environment they would say what is this relationship between Marty and Doc? ‘Is there some paedophilia thing happening here?’ People would say that today.

“Watch the movie and it never crosses your mind, you just say ‘Oh Marty is fascinated by this guy, he’s the father that Marty didn’t have, Doc hired this guy as his helper cos they are both kind of outcasts’ and we see it play out and you just totally buy it.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21:  (L-R) Singer Huey Lewis, Actor Michael J. Fox, Co-Creator, Writer and producer of "Back to the Future" Bob Gale, Actor Christopher Lloyd and Actress Lea Thompson attend the "Back To The Future" New York special anniversary screening at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on October 21, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Singer Huey Lewis, Michael J. Fox, Bob Gale, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson attend the "Back To The Future" New York special anniversary screening on October 21, 2015. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

“But in today’s world studio executives would completely overthink it and I don’t know what kind of movie it would turn out to be if we were trying to make it today but I’m just really glad that it was made when we did.”

Back To The Future: The Ultimate Trilogy is available in 4K HDR now from Universal Home Entertainment.