Why Crispin Glover Did Not Return in the Back to the Future Sequels

That Back to the Future Trilogy is a true pop culture phenomenon. Across the three films, the iconic characters of Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) travel through time after the eccentric Doc builds a time machine out of a DeLorean. In addition to Doc and Marty, the series gave us other memorable characters first introduced in the original 1985 film, including dimwitted bully Biff Tannen (Thomas F Wilson) and Marty’s failed parents Lorraine (Leah Thompson) and George (Crispin Glover). After the unimaginable success of the first film Part II and Part III were filmed back-to-back in 1989 and 1990 respectively.


Most of the cast and crew returned for the sequels, with the exception of Glover and Claudia Wells, who played Marty’s friend Jennifer. Wells declined to reprise her role and was replaced Elizabeth Shue. As a result, the final scene of the first film starring Shue, Fox and Lloyd was reshot – slight differences to Fox and Lloyd’s performances are noticeable. Most importantly, the role of George McFly has been recast Jeffrey Weissman Taking on the role, Glover hasn’t held back from venting his anger at the handling of the situation.

Glover was a delight to see Back to the Future

Glover portrayed George as a charming, hysterically funny, and personable father and teenager. Given the success of the first film, it’s hardly surprising that Glover was initially keen to reprise his role in the sequels. However, during filming of the original film, he was vocal about his disagreement with the film’s ultimate message. In an interview with the AV Club, he stated that he didn’t like the McFlys ending the film rich and wealthy, and he disagreed with the morality that went with it. The ending in the original script reportedly contained other elements that were considered questionable – and Glover believes he wasn’t the only cast member to denounce this – and eventually the direction was changed. But Glover has stressed the fact that he doesn’t like the financial reward the McFlys end up getting, and he’s even said it caused friction between him and the director Robert Zemeckis. Glover was only twenty at the time of the first film and, despite his misgivings, reluctantly shot the final scenes.

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Bob GaleCo-Writer and Co-Producer of Back to the Future trilogy, has long claimed it was a salary dispute that led to Glover not reprising his role Part II. Gale has claimed that because he wasn’t a huge fan of the sequel’s script, Glover demanded that he be paid $1 million to appear in the film. Because the producers didn’t want to meet this demand, Weissman was brought in as a replacement. Glover has been adamant that this was Gale’s fabrication, and his resentment against him lingers to this day. Gale’s frequent falsehoods and refusal to take responsibility hurt Glover, and he still refuses to attend cast and crew reunions because of him. When asked about the situation, Gale has refused to apologize or admit any wrongdoing, and has questioned why Glover took it out on him personally when other producers — including Steven Spielberg and Zemeckis – were there too.

Glover’s likeness was used in Back to the Future 2 without his permission

The most hurtful thing from Glover’s point of view was the way his image was used in the sequel without his permission. Casts of his face from the first film were used to create prosthetic limbs for Weissman to resemble Glover as closely as possible. This left Glover deeply horrified. Before Weissman was cast, killing George was considered, but it was decided he was too important a character to be written out of the sequel. However, his role has been greatly reduced. Weissman’s new footage often had him in the background of scenes to make his Glover-like face less obvious, and in one longer scene he’s literally dangling upside down. Some viewers were initially unaware of the recast, and Glover has said people came to him because they often mistakenly believed he was in the sequels. This was infinitely annoying for him, and he hasn’t shied away from criticizing Weissman’s performance in the sequel, taking great offense when people give him underperformance. In 1990, Glover took legal action against the producers and walked away with a six-figure sum. While Glover remains bitter towards Gale, he has repaired his relationship with Zemeckis and given him the role he played in the sequel. In 2007, Zemeckis cast Glover in the role of Grendel in the 2007 CGI action film Beowulfand Glover confirmed that he had forgiven the director.

The Glover/Weissman situation wasn’t the only controversy surrounding casting in a Back to the Future Movie. Many key scenes were filmed in the original Eric Stoltz in the role of Martin. Stoltz was better known for his dramatic performances at the time, and Zemeckis felt he didn’t bring the right amount of comedic energy to the role. Stoltz’s unduly intense method acting also created tension on set, particularly between himself and Wilson. Consequently, Zemeckis fired him and replaced him with Fox, who had originally been the producer’s first choice for the role. Stoltz was devastated to be fired from the film.

While Glover has been reluctant to speak out about all the frustrations and unfair actions taken against him, he has been admirably vocal about it in recent years. However, fans of the series can still enjoy his unforgettable performance in the first film. In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, Glover said he was proud to have stood up for himself and since winning the lawsuit Screen Actors Guild has taken action to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

https://collider.com/back-to-the-future-2-crispin-glover-history-explained/ Why Crispin Glover Did Not Return in the Back to the Future Sequels

Sarah Ridley

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