According to a vote last week, Back To The Future is the film people most want to be remade and, you know what, I’m with the people. For the first time in years, this is a result of a popular vote I can entirely get behind, but, of course, the naysayers are naysaying. They complain as if the original Back To The Future is the Bible. Actually, that’s due a remake, too, but let’s not get distracted. Basically, fans are up in arms at the idea of a film about time being brought up to date, while I’m already casting a new version in my mind, starting with Timothée Chalamet as Marty McFly. But remakes are always rubbish, you say, and up until this very point, you’re exactly right. Here is your weekly reminder to avoid that new version of Annie and the reimagining of Robocop. Steer clear of Clash Of The Titans Version 2 and Total Recall Version 2 and even though you’re allowed to say that you’re looking forward to the live-action take on The Lion King, because it stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé and John Oliver, please remember you don’t actually mean that. It’s going to be efficient, flash and, by this time next year, you’ll already be back to the original.
Because remakes live by the rule of: if you don’t make them, nobody will notice. Yet, with the old Back To The Future, modern people notice its flaws all the time – and that is why it’s due a remake. It starts, of course, in 1985, before Marty goes to 1955 and it’s great, if you lived in the Eighties or Nineties, watching him come to terms with the basic equipment and old ways from 30 years earlier.
That is, by and large, the premise: how we adjust to a different era. The problem, though, is that anyone born this century will watch the first 20 minutes or so, pre-Libyans, and think they are watching the past. There are no mobile phones or internet and the cars look weird. The music is like something Dad listens to. What the hell is a shopping centre? Therefore, by the time Marty travels back, millennials can be forgiven for thinking that he hasn’t travelled at all, or maybe just gone to Secret Cinema.
Back To The Future is entirely about time, and it’s about time it was updated. Other remakes are unnecessary because even if there are old things in them that viewers don’t understand, they are rarely integral to the premise or plot. There is, though, a lot more that 1985 has in common with 1955 than 2018, which rather defeats the jolt of time travel. Should they watch Back To The Future 2, which travels to 2015, kids can be forgiven for thinking Marty and Doc have just gone to a nu-rave revivalist bash.
So, the remake will begin now, of course, where Marty is still going out with Jennifer and Doc has to buy some nuke fuel off the Russians for a time-travelling car, which can still be the DeLorean. A handover goes wrong and Marty travels back to 1988 where, hilariously, he tries to use Instagram (#whatthefuckjusthappened) only to twig there’s no internet. He finds Doc, as per, and they need lightning, as usual, and his mum falls in love with him, as he’s played by Timothée Chalamet. “Dad, can’t you just get on Bumble and stalk like that?” he whines, which leads to a great scene in which Doc tries to track down Tim Berners-Lee to knock him out and steal his web idea, given that it launched the following year. At the big school bash, Marty introduces the baffled class to grime – “Your kids are going to love it!” – and then, come the sequel, they travel to 2048, where everyone is dead and the planet is toast, because millions of pillocks voted in climate change-denying leaders.
You see, popular votes. They’re risky things and so often wrong – apart from the one that wants to redo Back To The Future, that is.