In the casting world, when a new role needs to be filled for a major movie, the production may have a general idea of who they want to play a specific role, but that general idea could be a list of 20+ actors.
Nowadays, when production asks casting to find a role, they will reference characters from other movies to give casting the idea for the sort of character they are looking for. For example, when casting Owen Grady for Jurassic Park, a comparison on the list could have been Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones. The idea is to give a general aura of the character, in this case, an attractive “leading man” with a sense of adventure.
Please note that this comparison was just a made-up example of a stereotype that can be used! It has never been confirmed that Grady was based on Ford’s Indy portrayal.
These examples are meant to help guide casting in the direction that production would like to go in. From there, the casting officials could either compile their own list of actors to reach out to agents about or post a casting notice and choose from there. That being said, it is not every day that movie fans get to see what that shortlist looked like. Now, we can take a close look at who was in talks to play Doc Brown in Back to the Future!
Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) took to Twitter to show off Fenton Feinberg’s casting list for the role of “Scientist,” which we all know to be the one and only Doc Brown.
Potential actors considered to play Doc Brown in Back To The Future.
Potential actors considered to play Doc Brown in Back To The Future. pic.twitter.com/vsXBTvLul4
— Will McCrabb (@mccrabb_will) May 16, 2021
If we take a look at the list, we can see some actors have checkmarks, and some are crossed off.
Although we do not know why some actors were crossed off, it’s likely that they were either not available or not interested in the role. As we can see from the list, Christopher Lloyd had a checkmark next to his name, so it seems that casting had their eye on the actor from the start!
Another interesting name in consideration was Jeff Goldblum! Although Goldblum was not yet known for Jurassic Park, as that film would debut eight years after Back to the Future, the actor did have an impressive resume! It is fun to think of how the film could have turned out very different, depending on who was cast as Doc Brown, as Lloyd played up the nutcase scientist stereotype quite perfectly in his own unique way.
The cast ended up being comprised of the following actors:
Michael J. Fox – Marty McFly
Christopher Lloyd – Dr. Emmett Brown
Crispin Glover – George McFly
Lea Thompson – Lorraine Baines
Thomas F. Wilson – Biff Tannen
James Tolkan – Mr. Strickland
Claudia Wells – Jennifer Parker
Wendie Jo Sperber – Linda McFly
Marc McClure – Dave McFly
Who on the above list would you have been interested to see play Doc Brown in Back to the Future?