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Why Did One Back To The Future Writer Want Universal To Decimate Censored Versions of The Sequel?

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  • Tip Bones

The Back to the Future film trilogy was first produced in the 1980s (1985). And from the start, it became a big hit. "I was one of those fans who became obsessed with this movie until this day. I can't recall how many times I watched both the first and second films. Over and over again I literally fell in love with this movie. To date, it stands to be one of my favorite movies. So, why then did one Back to The Future author want to omit censored parts of the sequel?"

Back to the future could also be a timeless (no pun intended) film trilogy that tons of moviegoers have a delicate spot for. As such, some fans probably weren’t too thrilled when Netflix published a version of Back to the Future Part II that censored a scene within the film. "I still enjoyed it regardless."

The Back to the Future (Part II) scene, in question, is that the sequence during which Marty McFly attempts to grab the sports almanac from Principal Strickland’s office. And as you would possibly remember, when he does grab the book, he finds that it’s only Biff’s (Buford "Biff" Howard Tannen is the main antagonist) dirty magazine. 

Within the Netflix version, the magazine cover is poorly edited out. Fans were quick to notice the change and point it out on social media. Now, it would appear that franchise editor Bob Gale also had some pull with this altered version, and has even gone as far as telling Universal Pictures to eliminate it.

Bob Gale explained that both he and director Robert Zemeckis had no idea this version of the film existed. According to the author, it had been made, because a country took issue with the magazine cover. Because Gale couldn’t (and doesn’t) blame Netflix for this cut of the movie, he visited Universal to make his feelings known:

"This was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover. I asked that the studio destroy this version. FYI, Netflix does not edit films — they only run the versions that are supplied to them. So they're blameless. You can direct your ire at Universal, but I think they will be a lot more careful in the future — and with 'the future."

During his conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Gale stressed that Netflix wasn't liable for this version being released. He also sounds relieved that the primary cut of the film is now running on the streaming service:

"The blame is on Universal who somehow furnished Netflix an edited version of the movie. I learned about it some ten days ago from an eagle-eyed fan and had the studio rectify the error. The version now running is the uncensored, unedited, original version."