One of the best known bits of trivia about Back to the Future is that Eric Stoltz not only almost played Marty McFly, but he actually filmed four weeks of the film as Marty before director Robert Zemeckis decided that he had been miscast. Footage of Stoltz has been under lock and key, never to be released to the public… until now.

As the story goes, Michael J. Fox was too busy filming the TV series Family Ties to take the role (costar Meredith Baxter was on maternity leave, and Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg refused to allow Fox time off to work on a film), so the producers cast their second choice for the role, Eric Stoltz.

Stoltz actually shot four weeks on the movie before the decision was made to find a replacement. Spielberg has explained the Zemeckis felt Stoltz was too humorless but gave a “terrifically dramatic performance” that was wrong for the movie. Recasting the part added $3 million to the $14 million budget, and Michael J Fox was again approached and somehow the actor was able to work out a timetable which would allow him to shoot both Family Ties and Back to the Future.

The newly released footage appears in the upcoming Back to the Future DVD/Blu-ray release. Watch a clip below:

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