Back to the Future fans were left in tears when Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunited for a panel during New York Comic Con 2022 over the weekend, the actors themselves appearing visibly emotional onstage.
"The best part of doing this movie was working with Chris," Fox said onstage to audible "awws" from the audience. "And it remains to this day the best part of talking about this movie, is being with Chris."
Fox starred as iconic '80s teen Marty McFly opposite Lloyd's eccentric Doc Brown in 1985's Back to the Future — as well as its two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) — and the two have had a close friendship ever since. The first film earned four Oscar nominations and won Best Sound Effects Editing.
It nearly wasn't Fox who played Marty, as he recalled onstage. Another actor, Eric Stoltz, was originally cast in the role and spent weeks filming with Lloyd before director Robert Zemeckis made the decision to replace him. Fox, meanwhile, was starring on Family Ties and had to shoot his series during the day and Back to the Future at night.
"I could tell that they were starving for a goofball. They had a really brilliant actor Method actor doing really good work, but they needed it," Fox said. "And they got me!"
"I didn't know Michael other than hearing about him," Lloyd remembered. "I had barely made it through the six weeks, and now I was going to have to do it again?" They would go on to create one of the most memorable onscreen duos of all time. "There was immediate chemistry, as they say," Lloyd said.
In the late 1990s, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and has since retired from acting. (This year, he will receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his work with Michael J. Fox Foundation.) He told the Comic Con audience about Lloyd's support through the years.
"Parkinson's is a gift. It's a gift that keeps on taking — but it's a gift, and I wouldn't change it for anything," Fox said. "People like Chris have been there a lot for me. You've helped out a lot — so many of you have — and it's not about what I have, it's about what I've been given: The voice to get this done and help people out. That's what we're all here for, to help each other out."