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Wolfman Makeup Hurt Michael J. Fox’s Chances With Back to the Future Role


In August of 1985, movie posters for Teen Wolf proclaimed that Michael J. Fox was “back from the future in a new comedy.” (A future where he had apparently turned into a werewolf with superior hoops skills. Nice going, Doc.) Meanwhile, Fox was having one of the best summers of any young actor in history, as Back to the Future had just debuted the previous month to enormous box office returns. And all it took was for Robert Zemeckis to walk down the street.

While Michael J. Fox was filming Teen Wolf in Pasadena, Robert Zemeckis was scouting locations for Back to the Future on the same street where lycanthropic teen Scott Howard lived. (Zemeckis would end up using a house on the street for the 1950s version of the McFly family home.) Zemeckis and Spielberg had been interested in Fox for the Marty McFly role, but he was unable to commit due to his commitments on Family Ties.

So production on Back to the Future began instead with Eric
Stoltz in the lead, while Fox’s wolfman shot baskets and partied it up
with buddy Stiles. But by the time filming on Teen Wolf wrapped,
Zemeckis and Spielberg had determined that the more serious Stoltz
wasn’t right for Marty and had let him go. With the wolf makeup off,
and a schedule worked out with Family Ties, Fox was finally able to crank up the Delorean to 88 miles per hour and drive off into film history.

Back to the Future‘s success cast such a huge shadow over Teen Wolf,
that the lead character’s name was actually changed from Scott to Marty
for the film’s Italian release. Fox’s success that summer also allowed
him to pass on the 1987 sequel , giving Jason Bateman the chance to prove that he was in fact a teen wolf, too.

Relive the summer of Fox when Teen Wolf airs Monday, April 21 at 10:30PM | 9:30C. For a complete schedule of this movie, click here.

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