Back To The Future Part II On Netflix: 20 References And Easter Eggs To Watch For
Back to the Future 2 is streaming on Netflix. Here's what to look for when you watch it.
The first Back to the Future movie ends on a bit of a cliffhanger--Doc, Marty, and Jennifer travel to the future to save Marty and Jennifer's children in a now-airborne Delorean. Back to the Future II follows through on this narrative, though after the first 30 minutes, it shifts gear into something zanier, when Biff steals the time machine and decides to make his own customizations to the past.
The movie does what all sequels must: it raises the narrative stakes even higher, and it reframes the first movie's events in a new light. It also adheres to the first film's internal logic. The entire narrative thrust--the creation of alternate timelines and branching realities--is a fanciful depiction of how many physicists actually conceive of space/time.
We revisited interviews and the Blu-Ray commentary of writer Bob Gale and producer Neil Canton to find the most interesting trivia we could. Here are 20 Easter Eggs you might have missed in Back to the Future Part II. Great Scott!
1. New Jennifer Parker
The filmmakers recast the role of Jennifer Parker and re-shot the scenes at the end of the first movie with a new actress, Elisabeth Shue. They then used those re-shot scenes as a recap at the beginning of the sequel.
The original Jennifer Parker, Claudia Wells, dropped out of the sequels to care for her family; her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
2. Old Doc Brown
As he quickly explains, 1985 Doc looks younger in this movie, because he went to a rejuvenation clinic in the future to make himself 30 years younger--like his 1955 self. There was a practical reason behind doing this; Christopher Lloyd no longer had to spend hours in the makeup chair to get ready for his scenes.
3. Re-Elect Wilson, Jr.
Apparently, the Wilson family has a political dynasty in Hill Valley. In 1985, Goldie Wilson was the mayor of Hill Valley running for re-election. In 2015, his son, Goldie Wilson, Jr, is also mayor Like his father, he is also running for re-election.
4. Still Broken
Apparently, Hill Valley never got around to repairing the clock tower. In the first movie, Doc Brown broke the ledge directly under the clock. It remained broken when Marty traveled to the present in 1985. It remains broken in 2015, when Marty travels to the future.
5. Cubs Win!
The 2015 issue of USA Today says that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in a five-game sweep. They didn't manage this in real life; instead the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, for the first time since 1908.
There are other interesting 2015 "predictions" on the front page. Princess Diana became Queen Diana; in reality, Princess Diana died in 1997. There was a Swiss terrorist threat, which is funny given Switzerland's long standing neutrality. Lastly, we had a female U.S. president, which still has yet to happen in real life.
6. Young Elijah Wood
The kid with the orange shirt and yellow suspenders is played by Elijah Wood. Wood famously played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
7. Skateboard Parallels
The sequence where Marty steals a girl's hoverboard and escapes from Griff closely mirrors a similar sequence in the first movie, when Marty escapes from Biff on a makeshift skateboard. It shares a lot of the same beats, including when Marty hitches a ride on a passing car. History repeats itself.
8. Close Enough?
Crispin Glover and the filmmakers couldn't come to terms on a contract, so he did not return for the sequel. The movie did the best with what they had; they shot his character, George McFly, from behind whenever they could, and they added prosthetics and heavy makeup to the replacement actor for any frontal shots.
9. Split Screens
Michael J. Fox plays all three roles in this scene: Marty McFly Sr., Marty McFly Jr., and Marlene Mcfly. The filmmakers spliced three takes together to create the scene.
10. Flea Cameo
Douglas Needles is played by Flea, the acclaimed bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
11. Power of Love
After losing his job, Marty Sr. strums Huey Lewis's "The Power of Love" on his electric guitar. The first movie featured the song prominently, and Marty played its opening during the Battle of the Bands.
12. Check The Dashboard
If Marty and Doc had taken a second look at the dashboard, they would have seen that the Delorean last departed from November 12, 1955--proof that Biff had used the time machine without their knowledge.
13. President Biff?
Writer Bob Gale confirmed in an interview with The Daily Beast that Donald Trump was on everyone's mind while they were making the movie. He cites a particular scene from alternate 1985, when Biff is holed up in his casino:
"You watch Part II again and there’s a scene where Marty confronts Biff in his office and there’s a huge portrait of Biff on the wall behind Biff, and there’s one moment where Biff kind of stands up and he takes exactly the same pose as the portrait? Yeah."
At the time of the movie's release in 1989, Trump had an ownership stake in three Atlantic City casinos, all of which bore his name: Trump Plaza, Trump Castle, and Trump Taj Mahal.
14. Third Wife
According the the Biff Tannen museum in alternate 1985, Biff was married three times: currently to Lorraine, and previously to sex symbol actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. Monroe is most famous for her comedic performances in The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot. Mansfield was a Playboy Playmate, and starred in The Girl Can't Help It and The Wayward Bus.
15. Brother's Deleted Scene
Several narrative decisions were based on casting availability rather than creative choice. The decision to kill alternate 1985 George McFly was because Crispin Glover decided not to reprise his role. As for Marty's siblings, there was a scene that showed an alcoholic Dave McFly living homeless. But since the actress who played Marty's sister, Wendie Jo Sperber, did not return for the sequel, the filmmakers decided to axe any sibling scenes so that the audience wouldn't ask questions.
16. Carl Sagan Endorsement
Astronomer and popular scientist Carl Sagan, who hosted the original run of the show Cosmos in the '80s, praised Back to the Future Part II for its portrayal of time travel and the theoretical science behind diverging timelines
17. Real Football Scores
Old Biff uses a UCLA football game on the radio to prove to young Biff that the almanac is real. This was a real game (the Bruins won, 19-17), and it did happen on November 12, 1955.
18. A Quick Spin
When the Delorean travels back in time at the end of the movie, it leaves curved flame trails in the air. This was intended to show that the Delorean spun at 88 miles per hour, which triggered the time jump, instead of accelerating to the speed linearly.
19. What Inventions Did They Get Right?
We still don't have flying cars or hoverboards. But Back to the Future: Part II did a good job of predicting the little things--the conveniences that make our lives easier. Tablet computers, picture-in-picture broadcast, flat screen televisions, fingerprint online payment, self-tying shoes, and drone technology are all inventions that came true.
20. Why We Don't Have Hoverboards
There's a short movie on the Blu-Ray release of the Back to the Future trilogy called "Doc Brown Saves The World." It's 8 minutes long, and it was made in 2015. In it, Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown, and he explains that there was a nuclear holocaust in 2045 as the indirect result of four inventions: the food hydrator, th self-lacing shoes, the hoverboard, and the home energy reactor, which made human beings too lazy. He travels back in time to prevent all four from being invented.
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