Back to the Future is a 1985 American science-fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It stars Michael J. Fox as teenager Marty McFly, who accidentally travels back in time from 1985 to 1955, where he meets his future parents and becomes his mother’s romantic interest. Christopher Lloyd portrays the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, inventor of the time-traveling DeLorean, who helps Marty repair history and return to 1985. The cast also includes Lea Thompson as Marty’s mother Lorraine, Crispin Glover as his father George, and Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen, Marty and George’s arch-nemesis.
Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale wondered whether he would have befriended his father if they had attended school together. Film studios rejected it until the financial success of Zemeckis’ Romancing the Stone. Zemeckis approached Steven Spielberg, who agreed to produce the project at Amblin Entertainment, with Universal Pictures as distributor. Fox was the first choice to play Marty, but he was busy filming his television series Family Ties, and Eric Stoltz was cast; after the filmmakers decided he was wrong for the role, a deal was struck to allow Fox to film Back to the Future without interrupting his television schedule.
Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985 and it grossed over $381 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1985. It won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, and the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing. It received three Academy Award nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). In 2007, the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in June 2008 the American Film Institute’s special AFI’s 10 Top 10 designated it the 10th-best science fiction film. The film began a franchise including two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990), an animated series, a theme park ride, several video games, a number of comic books, and an upcoming stage musical.