Found! Never-before-seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

Before Michael J. Fox hopped into the famed DeLorean and went Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis shot five weeks of footage with a young Eric Stoltz as his parentally obsessed time traveler.

Director John Frankenheimer used to say that casting is 65 percent of directing. The right actor can form a bond with the audience that supersedes the quality of the filmmaking and elevates the whole enterprise. The flip side of that is that if a director picks the wrong actor, that choice—one of a million a director must make—can sink it.

And that was the predicament facing Zemeckis while he was shooting his first big-budget sci-fi movie: Eric Stoltz was the wrong guy.

Of course, history—and hundreds of millions of dollars—would prove Zemeckis right. Stoltz's five weeks of McFlydom would become Hollywood lore; he joined a list of actors replaced by people who'd make their roles famous, including Jon Finch as Alien's Kane, Genevieve Bujold as Star Trek: Voyager's Janeway and James Remar as Aliens' Hicks.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)

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