Back to the Future 4 – the movie that never happened. From what I can tell, it looks like there won’t be a Back to the Future IV movie, so I guess I’ll have to make one up.
I love time travel movies and was the perfect age for when this series came out. I own the DVD box set and have watch each movie over a dozen times.
In today’s post, I’ll be pitching a long-awaited, highly anticipated, Back to the Future 4.
To recap, Back to the Future III took place in the 1800s, Doc Brown was stuck there and Marty went to save him. There was some car trouble and Doc rigged up a train to get them back to the future.
In a harrowing, last ditch decision, Doc chooses to be with his love, Clara. In the closing scenes of the movie, the train comes back to the future with Doc and Clara and two young boys, Jules and Verne.
My movie pitch will follow Jules and Verne as they have now grown up. The tone of the movie will also be different than the trilogy. I don’t want wacky and silly, I would like to take it more seriously like a legit sci-fi movie like Elysium, Arrival, and so on.
In the beginning of the movie, we meet two brothers, Jules and Verne — 24 and 25. They’re from a wealthy family. Both are really smart and accomplished in their own rights. One of the brothers works as a professor at a university and the other runs a tech company. They live in different parts of the country and don’t really speak all that much.
We see a bit of their lives, the professor is lecturing some history lesson from the 1800s, which is something he would know very well since he lived it from movie 3. The other brother is discussing some futuristic technology they’re inventing. As the camera pans around, we see them with a prototype of the hoverboards we saw in movie 2.
One of the brothers is recently single, he and his girl split because he’s never around. Her biggest complaint is that he’s too consumed with work. So he’s sad about that. The other brother is lonely and lacking adventure in his life.
The brothers meet in Hill Valley on the anniversary of their father’s death. They fly into town on separate flights, and meet at the cemetery. One of the brothers is already there, maybe it had been raining earlier so the ground is wet. The one brother is standing by Doc’s grave, wearing a long khaki trench. The other brother walks up, flowers in hand, lays them to rest on the gave site. The camera pans up and we see the tombstone that says Doc Brown, date of birth and death, and some meaningful message. Not sure what that would be, but some Easter egg for super fans or just one of his catch phrases like, “Great, Scott!”
Next, we see them drive up to the house where they grew up to take a look. In the garage, under a dusty tarp is the famous DeLorean. It’s in pretty rough shape. The Flux Capacitor and other important elements have been removed.
They sit in the vehicle, play with the buttons and reminisce about some of their adventures together. Remember the time we did this and that? They wish they could do it again. “If you could go anywhere, where would you go?” The two brothers ruminate about all the possibilities along with the merits and demerits of each choice.
Unfortunately, they don’t have plutonium nor the crucial technology. Their father never taught them how the tech works as they were too young so the secrets of time travel have died with their father.
They discuss what they should do with the house, and after some deliberation, they decide to sell it. For the next few days, they begin going through the house, packing things up and selling the rest. They discover many treasures from Doc’s travels, and it’s really neat to see all the keepsakes.
They arrange a garage sale and this guy comes up, hat low, and asks, “How much for the DeLorean?” Looks up, boom, Michael J. Fox — Marty McFly himself!
Later, they’re all in the house eating takeout and reconnecting with each other. Telling stories about dad and adventures they went on. Marty then asks, “What are you guys doing with all his stuff from his private workshop?”
The two brothers look at each with confusion, and ask, “What private workshop?”
Marty says, follow me, as he gets up, pulls a lever and reveals a secret workshop. This workshop is amazing. Lots of cool things to look at. Among the items is a dusty book. One of the brothers picks it up, blows off the dust and begins to flip through the pages. The book describes in detail how to time travel, how the Flux Capacitor works, and some other strange-looking calculations. With these schematics, they could probably rebuild the Flux Capacitor. All they need is plutonium.
Note: I should have mentioned this in the video, but I didn’t want the Flux Capacitor to run on garbage, I think that would ruin the tone I’m going for. Also, since they are rebuilding the Flux Capacitor using Doc’s notebook, it would likely be version 1, which ran on plutonium. I’m not married to the plutonium idea, we can change 🙂
“I can probably get us some plutonium,” the professor says.
“Are you being serious?”
“Of course, I’m a tenured professor at one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.”
“We shouldn’t mess with time travel, we all know how that can work out.”
“How about we create a set of rules?”
“Rules? Like what?”
“We only visit the future. That way we don’t disrupt the timeline.”
“Okay, what else?”
“We bring nothing back, including information.”
“You want to go back to the future?”
“Maybe one last time.”
“In this?” (looking at Delorean).
“No, of course not… in this.” (pulls curtain back to reveal BMW i8.
“Since plutonium is hard to acquire, perhaps we can figure out how to travel without it.”
I’ll tell you what, why don’t you spend the rest of you life figuring out how to do that. Meanwhile, I’ll use plutonium to travel into the future and meet a future version of you, who by that time will have dedicated your whole life to solving this issue. Then, once you figure it out, you can tell me how to get back.”
The tech brother is busy at work, recreating the Flux Capacitor, it’s really difficult, and he’s struggling. He then says, “You know what, we have better technology than dad did. I can probably make this thing a lot better. It’ll still require plutonium, but it’s be much more efficient, so we don’t need as much.”
The professor acquires plutonium and they rig up the i8. They set the date and time they agreed upon and are set to arrive inconspicuously 25 years into the future at 3:00 a.m.
“You sure you don’t want to join us?” one of the brothers asks Marty.
“Thanks, but I’ll sit this one out. Godspeed!”
The i8 takes off and boom, they go into the future.
When they arrive, much to their surprise, there’s a parade celebrating their arrival. People are clapping and taking pictures. There’s a sign that says, ‘Welcome, Time Travelers!’
“How the hell did they know we were going to arrive?”
“Let’s worry about that later, we need to get out of here and stash this car somewhere.” (Maybe they stash the car in Marty’s garage. Again they talk to Marty, or maybe his wife.
People are after them, wanting their technology, but the car had tinted windows so as far as they know, nobody knows who they are. They can just blend in and walk around and nobody will be the wiser.
One thing that is puzzling to them is where are their future selves?
They look into it and there appears to be no record after date they left. It just says two brothers mysteriously vanish one day and never came back.
“We need to find out what happened to us.”
“I have a theory,” one of the brothers says. “I think something happens with us, or our car. I don’t think we ever make it back. My guess is that we’re killed in this time. That would explain why we don’t exist in history.”
“What about the parade, how the hell did they know we’d come here at this exact time?”
“I’m not sure. Perhaps there’s another time traveller.”
I’m sure we can figure out who the other time traveller is.”
“Who’s the richest and most lucky person in the world?” This line is of course a nod to Biff in movie 2.
“You know what, I don’t have a good feeling about this. We should leave, this is dangerous, lets get out of here.”
“Okay, I’m with you, but check this out… we actually have no more plutonium. We’re sort of trapped.”
“What? Are you being serious?”
“The good news is that we have nothing to go back to. Your gal left you and we have no other family or friends. I just have a boring job teaching history. I’d much rather be apart of history that teach it.”
At this point in the movie, their identities have become compromised and they are on the run. They also need to fix the Flux Capacitor.
“Please tell me you brought dad’s book?”
“No, of course not. It’s valuable. I didn’t want to lose it, but don’t worry, I put it somewhere safe.” Pulls out a key and says, “I put it in a safety deposit box.”
They go get the book and one brother says to the other, “You’re a genius!”
Then, from out of nowhere, they hear an all-too-familiar voice that says, “No, you’re the son of a genius.” Boom, enter Doc Brown!
“Let me guess, you’ve run out of plutonium?”
“Dad! What are you doing here?” Doc gives some explanation then says, “I know how you can get back without plutonium. You have my book? Check this out. Takes the book, flips it around, and applies a black light to it to reveal some hidden message.” I was working on something that didn’t exist back then, but now, technology has advanced. I think I can recreate this without requiring plutonium.
As Doc fixes the capacitor, Jules walks around town. Everything is very futuristic looking. I might even show some new futuristic Nikes and holographic sharks as a nod to movie 2.
Temptation gets the best of him and he seeks out his future girlfriend. They’re not together of course, she’s with a new man, and they have a five-year-old daughter. As Jules observes from a distance, he sees the man not being nice. He is forced to get involved. He interacts with the woman and the kid, and both are really sweet to him. Jules is wearing a disguise, but she studies his face intently.
“I’m sorry, do I know you from somewhere?”
“Who me? No.”
Takes off his hat. “Oh my god, you are a spitting image of this guy I used to date in my 20s.”
“Yeah, that’s crazy.”
Maybe she sees some identifying mark, or a watch she bought him, and is like, “Holy shit, it’s you, but how?”
So Doc has fixed the car and Jules is hanging out with his ex. She’s much older, but the connection is still there. She tells him that she has stage 4 cancer and has been given a few months to live. The problem is that she has to leave behind this little girl, who by now Jules has grown attached to. “The girl is actually used from your sperm,” she said. “This guy that I’m with, he’s a bad guy, and in fact, I can’t be sure that he will take care of little Jamie.”
“Dang, that is a predicament. I’ll tell you what, what if I were to take Jamie back to my time. I mean, it’s not her timeline, but she’s five, she’ll never know the difference. That’s what happened with me, I was born in the 1800s and was taken from my time. I could do this for Jamie and give her a good life. After all, I’m her father, right?”
“Yes, of course. Oh my god, you would do that? That would be so wonderful.”
So Jules is facing a moral conundrum. He knows that he does not get back with his ex because if he were to go back, it would alter the timeline and Jamie would never be born, and that would be a shame. “How can I be responsible for killing this sweet child?”
Jules goes back to dad and brother and tells them this situation.
“You can’t think about it like that,” they say. “Perhaps by you not being with her, you are preventing other kids from being born. Or you go back and different sperm makes entirely different kid. We knew this would happen when we started. We should have never done this.”
“Look, I need to bring this kid back.”
“Out of the question.”
“What are you talking about, you did precisely this thing in the 1800s!”
“Yes, but that was different.”
“For one, you were my kid.”
“Jamie is my kid.”
“It wasn’t safe.”
“It’s not safe here.”
“You absolutely cannot do that.”
“Alright, whatever.” Storms off.
Jules hops in the car and takes off. He reaches 88 mph and in a flash, disappears. A second later, the car returns all smashed up. I’m talking bullet holes and dents, scraped paint and smashed out windows. Jules steps out looking like all hell — dirty clothes are torn, beard, long hair, scar on his face…
“What the hell happened to you?”
“I went to the future… and I can tell you, the future for this child is not good.”
“How long were you gone for?”
“Two years! Great, Scott!”
“How incredibly irresponsible of you!”
So the dad and brother and reaming him out and Jules is like, “I’m sorry, I did what I had to do.”
“People are after them, and they have no choice but to pile in the car and take off. They race around town and find a stretch where they can get up to 88 mph. Doc, Jules, and Verne blast back to their present day and pull up to Marty as he’s still standing there on the street. Marty and Doc reunite and it’s a glorious moment. Doc then pats his pockets and asks, “Guys, have you seen my notebook?”
Just then, Jules pops the trunk and out walks little Jamie. Everyone is extremely disappointed in him and tell him that he has to bring her back.
“It’s not happening, no way!”
In the final scene of the movie, life has returned to normal. Jules is back in New York, or where ever he’s from, and walks up the steps to where his ex lives. He introduces her to Jamie, who’s a spitting image of her mum, and the mum immediately embraces the child. There are tears and hugs as the mum takes them both inside.
Jules notices a pack a cigarettes on the table and asks, “You smoke? Since when?”
The mum says, “I’ve been really stressed out lately. I started a few months ago after the break up. They help me calm down.”
Jules picks them up and says, “You know these things are toxic.” Then crushes them in his hands. This scene implies that he will save her from her cancer.
In the last scene, Jules says, “You know what, I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you when you needed me the most, and I’m sorry that I’ve made the last few months so difficult for you. Why don’t we all take a family vacation.”
Boom — credits!
So this implies that he will take them time travelling.
Now, when Jules went to the future and saw the destruction, I never show it or explain it. In the post movie credits scene, it shows Jules and Verne talking and Verne asks Jules, “So are you going to tell me what you saw?”
Jules goes, we made a rule to not bring anything back from the future, including information. And I already broke one of those rules. Let’s just say, we need to focus on more important things than history lessons and hoverboards.”
Boom — credits!
This sets up amazing sequel to relaunch the franchise. We could show them working with Doc and Marty to save the future from impending doom, or whatever Jules saw in the future. But also, perhaps Doc left behind his notebook from the future and someone else found it. They will recreate the time travel device and they need to stop that person from running amok.
So there it is, there’s my Back to the Future IV movie pitch. Let me know in the comments if you like it or ways we could make it better!
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