Calgary Expo 2019 Back to the Future Panel

April 27, 2019 at 4:07am
By Jason Stettner

At the Calgary Expo 2019 there was a Back to the Future event that took place front and center in the Stampede Corral. This special showcase united the core cast from the legendary series for some questions. It was somewhat less busy than anticipated quite honestly, at least in my opinion. Here are the details and highlights discussed during this showcase.

Throughout this article I will note the characters based on their last name. I’ll now list the actor and then their character for context initially. Starting from the left in the picture below there was Christopher Lloyd (Dr. Emmett Brown); Thomas F. Wilson (Biff Tannen), James Tolkan (Mr. Strickland), Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines) and Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly). A fun place to start is that some replies were simple to the questions given.

An initial one was Tolkan asking “if there’s a slacker out there?!” though generally noted that working with Fox is one of the easiest things to do. Thompson then mentions that while everyone had a different style, the Director was able to corral the giant performances and make it work. Back to the Future Calgary Expo 2019
It was also noted that you should watch the performances individually the next time you get to view Back to the Future. It changes your perspective on things, the characters are kinda insane. A crazy symphony of performances, at least in Wilson’s humble opinion. I will also note that he clearly took point here, being the strongest speaker of the group, aside from Thompson. In general McFly was the point of sanity in the film, to understand this wild world.

The question of why it stands the test of time. Fox, elements of nostalgia for different generations. Biff was a foreshadowing for Trump. Thompson mentions that every generation gets something out of it. Wilson furthers that by saying it’s a story of the past, meeting people. This is then continued further by Thompson asking, “what if your mom hit on you?” Wilson then goes to state that movies are timeless, “we’ll eventually die, but we’ll always be in this movie”, a part of movie history.

Going onwards to the technology that didn’t pan out, or perhaps did. Wilson mentions erasable pens to break the silence, that they didn’t. Thompson goes with flying cars, being something she thought never would. Fox puts in a great mention to Nike’s self-tying shoe laces as an amazing thing from the movie that we now have for those that might have accessibility issues.

How much was the actor, actually their character? Lloyd, “I don’t know, kind of a blend”. Doc is a silly guy through his actions and he picked elements from famous physics based individuals. Wilson went with goon for the mafia as a joke. He went on to say he was bullied a lot when he was younger, from a method stand point it was hard to perform the scenes and he had to constantly remind himself it was pretend. In the car scene with Thompson, he was very upset about it. For Tolkan, it was a teacher that inspired him, she’d always crack children’s hands with a ruler. Thompson noted she was close in a certain way being shy and weird. Related more to the older version of her character, had this mom that was so unhappy. The younger one was sexually awakened whereas the younger was a beat down individual. Fox went on about how easy it was to be a slacker student that had a guitar, “I can do that” and his thing was just to be funny.

The work on this film, and how it influenced their careers. For Thompson she directs a lot now and learned much from this experienced. Learned that every scene needs to mean something and to not waste the audience’s time. For Wilson it affected how people saw him, people couldn’t see beyond it. People reached out via letters, now emails. They asked about the story of him being bullied, and it allowed him to connect with many people as the bully doesn’t win in the film. His mother wanted him to be a prince, then notes that he gets hit in the face and everyone cheers. For Lloyd it has given him so much work, very recognizable in a certain way.

The hardest or perhaps, most fondest part to recall. For Fox it was different, later on everything was harsher for the sequel as he was older and sorer. When it comes to Tolkan his favorite part was when he was asked if he wanted to be in part two and three. Many laughs were had by the crowd with that response. Lloyd’s was the bell tower, didn’t want to stand on the window sill and eventually had to.

How close were they to Back to the Future 4? The director has the say, and says no. This is commonly known. There will however be a musical in London that opens in 2019.

The group then was asked to recite their favorite lines. Wilson nailed his Biff, the others were a blast too. At the end of the show the cast was Calgary Hat knighted with the Calgary White Hat hospitality. There was a speech and everything. That about sums everything up, we have additional panel and other coverage from the show in our hub.

View our David Hayter Panel Coverage
View our Calgary Expo 2019 Hub

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner