I’m not one to mess with perfection, Modern Philosophers. However, Back To The Future is one of my all time favorite movies, so it was inevitable that I’d tackle the flick in this new feature.
The screenplay, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, is considered to be an almost flawless piece of screenwriting, and is often used in screenwriting books as a teaching tool for those who want to learn the craft.
I had a serious talk with my good friend Doc Brown before writing this post. What Doc told me, in his infinite wisdom, was that I wasn’t trying to improve on an already perfect screenplay. I was just trying to entertain my readers by telling them how I would add myself to the story so that I could join him and Marty on their adventure.
Even Einstein gave his approval by barking and allowing me to scratch him behind his ears. So are you ready to hop into the DeLorean with me, Modern Philosophers, and see how I would write myself into Back To The Future?
While I would be tempted to insert the Austin character into 1985 Hill Valley to increase my chances of turning up in the sequels, I would ultimately hold off and not introduce myself until Marty McFly traveled back to 1955.
There are so many wonderful scenes in which I could appear. I’d really love to attend the Enchantment Under The Sea dance so I could witness the first kiss between Lorraine and George. I’d also like to be on the street during the lightning storm to help Doc get Marty back to 1985.
But I’d write a new scene that took place while Marty was wandering the streets of Hill Valley in 1955 and trying to get his bearings.
Austin would be on a bench drawing on a sketchpad when Marty turned down the street. Austin would see the oddly dressed stranger, who is clearly lost, and wave him over to see if he needed help.
Although dressed in 1955 clothes and definitely looking the part of the local, there would be just a little something off about Austin. Rather than make a life preserver joke about Marty’s vest, Austin would make a comment about how he used to have one just like it, only in green.
Marty, already befuddled, wouldn’t pick up on the comment. When Marty asks Austin if he’s from around here, Austin would reply that he’s from The House On The Hill on the other side of town. Austin would then inquire if Marty was looking for Doc Brown. When a stunned Marty demands to know how Austin could possibly know that, he would reply, “You’ve just got that look about you” and would give Marty directions to Doc’s house.
Once Marty walks off, the camera would zoom in on Austin’s sketchpad, and we’d see that we was drawing Indiana Jones talking to E.T., both a nod to the movie’s producer Steven Spielberg, and a hint that Austin might know a lot more about time travel and Marty’s plight than we realized.
Normally, I’d say that would be enough fiddling with a screenplay that needs no rewriting at all, but how could I pass up on the chance to work with my hero, Doc Brown? I’d never forgive myself if I did so.
As a result, I’d add a scene later in the script where Austin visits Doc Brown at his home as he struggles to figure out how to get Marty and the DeLorean back to 1985. Doc doesn’t know Austin, but he would talk his way into the house by revealing an astonishing amount of knowledge of the Brown family’s past, present, and future as well as some thoughts on the Flux Capacitor and how to improve it.
Doc Brown correctly deduces that Austin is also from the future, but has made a choice to remain in 1955 for reasons which cannot be revealed until the sequels. In any event, Austin gives Doc the confidence that he not only has the ability to get Marty home, but that it is imperative that he see to it that he eventually makes it to 1985 to meet up with Marty again for some unfinished business.
Austin’s scenes in the movie would now be complete, but his influence would be there until the very end. I’d like to think that once Marty returned to 1985, Austin and Doc would become close friends, which could very well explain why I use his photo as my Gravatar on this blog…
So what do you think, Modern Philosophers? Would you watch a version of Back To The Future with the Austin scenes added? How would add yourself to this classic flick? Do you think I’m a fool for not writing myself into a scene where I get to go for a ride in the DeLorean? I look forward to your comments…in the future!
I knew you were writing this post, so I wrote this comment yesterday.
You’re a riot! Thanks for adding me to the list on your blog. Marty might let you ride in the DeLorean for that one… 🙂
My pleasure, Bro! I seriously thought I had put you on there a while back. Better late than never, I guess. 🙂
We can go back in time and fix this. Now I’ll be on there in 1955 before blogs were even invented!
To be frank, one of my ancestors met Clara. She was going to buy a horse and buckboard to go to her new job as a schoolmarm. Charlene-my Old West ancestor- started that ‘the black haired angel will fall’ and that the only one who can save ‘her’ is an ‘angel in white…from another time’.
Guess who they are 🙂