Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I've been asked a few times how my 8 year old self would react to what grown up me gets to do for a living and the answer is always that little me wouldn't believe I'd get to watch movies, visit sets and interact with my cinematic heroes. He'd call me a liar if I could go back in time and tell him what was in store.
That applies double if I told little me that I'd get to go to London, England and get to throw some questions at Marty McFly, Doc Brown and Lorraine Baines McFly.
Universal was planning a big to-do in Abu Dhabi for the Blu-Ray release of Furious 7 and they decided to bring some of us nerdy film writer types to London beforehand in order to see the giant cast and crew reunion arranged at the London Film and Comic-Con, followed by some quality time with Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson.
All of this was in support of the 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray, which comes with the nifty flux capacitor packaging!
Before the big panel yesterday there was a press conference where they brought out everybody from Marty to Mayor Goldie Wilson and then kept Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson on stage to answer some questions.
Before I dive into that, let me say that the London Film and Comic-Con was pretty cool. I mean, it was hot as hell because most places here don't have adequate air conditioning because they only really need it for 2 weeks out of the year, but it was a pretty legit Con. The fans were out in force and the cosplayers were killing it.
I feel weird asking random fans if I can photograph them, so I don't usually snap cosplay pics, but I couldn't help myself when I saw some Stormtroopers in conversation with Spider-Man.
Michael was pretty much off limits to us, so it was a pleasant surprise when the Universal publicists asked if I could ask him one question about Back to the Future, what would it be. There were no guarantees I could ask something, but I came up with something and was told that I'd get a chance to throw a question at him during the press conference.
When the main three settled in for the conference a microphone was handed out to a few of us who supplied questions. Mine was the second one up.
The question I came up with was about his mindset going to shoot for the first time considering not only was he juggling a leading role in a big feature and his regular Family Ties gig, but he was also coming in to replace an actor who had already shot for a good length of time. Not only that, but his first night of shooting was in the Twin Pines Mall parking lot where Marty really comes into his own as a character (“You built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?!?”). It's a long, meandering one, but I got through it somehow and Fox responded through some really spotty audio as his mic kept popping and going in and out randomly.
He said that he remembered feeling a little weird stepping in for Eric Stoltz, but that more than anything he was really excited at the chance to redeem himself after Teen Wolf.
At this point I said “Aw, I like Teen Wolf,” marking probably the only person Michael J. Fox has ever met that liked that movie. Keep in mind I did this in front of all the press, so my devotion is real, sucka!
Fox surprisingly backed away and said that Teen Wolf was fine, but he didn't miss the yak hair all over his face.
The mic trouble got so bad it was hard to hear anybody except for Lea, so she proceeded to pull her mic out of her boobs to help out.
After a few other questions, everybody broke for a few days and reassembled for the official panel in front of 2000 fans.
Attending were Micheal J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Claudia Welles (Jennifer), Marc McClure (Dave McFly), Frances Lee McCain (Stella Baines), James Tolkan (Slacker... I mean, Mr. Strickland), Harry Waters Jr (Marvin Berry), Donald Fullilove (Goldie Wilson), Jeffrey Weissman (not Crispin Glover George McFly) and Ricky Dean Logan (Data, one of Biff's gang).
-Donald Fullilove googled Goldie Wilson after seeing a news story in 2009 about the first (25th Anniversary) reunion and was blown away at just how massive the movie was.
-Marc McClure said the first cast and crew screening resulted in a standing ovation, which isn't the norm. Usually it's polite, but this was huge.
-When asked about if Marty is a nerd or not, because he does reference Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan, Michael J. Fox talked about how genuine the people here at the con. “They wear their hearts on their sleeves, their big hearts... if that's what a nerd is, then Marty is a nerd.”
-Lea Thompson calls Lorraine the best character she's ever played. The most challenging part was playing the “horny teenager” version of the character.
-Christopher Lloyd answered most questions grumpily, which kept cracking Michael J. Fox up. When asked about Doc's tech, he talked a bit about how much he liked the dog can opener thing and the steampunk ice machine in Back to the Future III.
-What would make a good time machine today? Michael J. Fox: “A hot tub, apparently.” Lea: “The internet is a pretty good time machine.” Christopher Lloyd: “Another DeLorean, I guess.” Love this guy!
-Michael J. Fox on what they expected to see when looking forward to 2015... “I thought the Cubs would have won the world series by now...”
-Michael J. Fox: “I wish I had a gag reel of every time I'd get hit by the door to the DeLorean. It'd be about 30 seconds. Whap, whap, whap.” He also talked about how dangerous the car was. He'd constantly cut his head on the flux capacitor when he'd hit the gas. He joked he'd show up to Family Ties in the morning still bloody because of that car.
-Claudia Wells is convinced Michael was at the premiere of the first film at Westwood and he says he wasn't. He was in London filming the Family Ties England special. Neither would back down! For like 3 minutes she'd try to tell a story about them being at the premiere and Michael would keep saying, “I was in London!”
-Michael talks a lot about how much Doc meant to Marty, how he accepted him for who he was. Rather beautiful, heartfelt words about friendship and mentorship. Christopher Lloyd is asked what would Doc have done without Marty. “I don't know. He would have just found someone else.” How great is this dude? Fox followed that up with “What, you would have just trolled high schools?”
-Most fun of the trilogy? For Lloyd, “Part 3, hand's down.” Loved western setting, loved the steam engine... “and Doc had a romance.” Also loved that ZZ Top did the dance scene because that shot for 3 nights, so it was like getting a private performance for three nights straight. For Michael it was the first one because of just how crazy it was to be at that age and find himself on a movie set with Steven Spielberg and Bob Zemeckis.
-One of the best things about the panel was when somebody asked if Harry Waters Jr could sing a little of Earth Angel and he did! And he did it well!
I think there'll be video of the panel soon and I'll make sure to throw it up when it becomes available. In closing, how about some more panel/press conference pics?