It's almost 2015, and we still don’t have flying cars, time machines or hoverboards, but the "Back To The Future" trilogy still rocks our world.
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first installment and the new trilogy Blu-ray release, Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd and Mary Steenburgen -- plus singer Huey Lewis, writer-director Robert Zemeckis, producer Neil Canton and writer-producer Bob Gale -- reunited in Manhattan today to travel back in time to the making of this iconic '80s flick.
"To be associated with a film that just flat-out makes people happy is such a blessing and a tremendous privilege, and I'll always be grateful for it," stated Fox, who starred as Marty McFly. "People's eyes light up when they talk about it. I've been in Asia, Africa, Europe and even Bhutan; people know the movie there. It's just an amazing thing."
"The thing that created the phenomenon is the way the title of the movie has become part of the lexicon of the world," noted Zemeckis. "It's used to describe anything that is the past becoming the present or the old turning new. It has captured the imagination of the world."
Some vintage items from the set recently went on the auction block to raise money for Fox’s Foundation For Parkinson's Research, while some pieces came from Gale’s personal collection.
Thompson confessed she still has her pink prom dress.
"Every Halloween my kids try it on," she revealed. "I'm like, 'No, you can't wear that to a party.'"
Fox lamented not snagging the guitar he rocked out with when performing "Johnny B. Goode" at the climax of the first movie.
"I was so stupid to not buy that, and that little yellow Chiquita when the amp blows Marty back," he said. "I have some shoes and maybe some other stuff. I'm still tired from the movie. Does that count as a souvenir?"
(Fox filmed the first movie while also starring in TV's "Family Ties" and was exhausted by the experience.)
Lloyd almost didn't take the part of Doc Brown. "When I was offered the script I didn't want to read it because I had a theater job that was offered to me back East, and I wanted to go back to where my roots were," he admitted. At a friend's urging, he read the screenplay. "And here I am." Good call.
Some fans have memories that are not quite what they used to be. "I [once] got a call from a major reporter from a major outlet who swore there was a scene where Marty was smoking weed with Marvin Berry and the band," recalled Zemeckis. "He said, 'Did the censors make you cut that out for the DVD release? I know I saw that because I saw the movie in the theater.' I said, 'Were you high?' [He replied,] 'I might have been.'"
The talent gets to experience the movie in a new way when they show it to their kids. Many of them get to gauge how it holds up today both in terms of story and visual effects, which were state of the art for the time.
Thompson said her kids love the story and the effects, while Fox had to explain to his children, who like the movie, how the effects were not done digitally like today and were more physically demanding.
"They see Travelers Insurance commercials with tigers riding on the backs of hippos and doves interacting with crocodiles," he said. "Back then those visual victories took a lot of work."
"I always think it's funny when my daughter's friends say, 'You were so hot when you were in 'Back To The Future!','" beamed Thompson. "It's peculiar for me because I did play Lorraine [Marty's mom] at 17 and 47, and I'm just a little over that age right now, so it's an interesting experience because people still recognize me.”
The actors agreed that being associated with the iconic film and series is all good. Fox and Thompson in particular stated that they have never gotten better parts. And there are other perks.
"I love being in Bhutan and someone going, 'McFly!'" quipped Fox. "It's fantastic and such a great honor."
Fans jonesing for something new will be excited that the new videogame "Back To The Future: The Game" is coming soon, with Lloyd and Gale involved. But don't expect any new cinematic adventures from Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
"We don't want to do a part four," Gale insisted. "We don't want to remake it with somebody else. We've seen franchises that have gone back to the well one or two times too many. We love 'Back To The Future' the way it is, and we don't want to screw around with the space-time continuum."
Want more "Back to the Future?" No problem! We're giving away five DVD sets!
Just follow us on Twitter and retweet the following message sometime between now and noon on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010: "We’re giving away Back to the Future Trilogy DVD sets to 5 lucky followers. RT this full tweet to enter! Rules: http://cot.ag/a1pyxN"