'Back to the Future: Part II' Screenwriter on Nearly Getting Cubs World Series Win Right

'Back to the Future: Part II' Screenwriter on Nearly Getting Cubs World Series Win Right

By Robert Dougherty Nov 04, 2016 12:14 PM
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Back to the Future: Part II presented a 2015 where the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, which briefly looked like it could come true in real life last year. Now that it actually happened a year later, screenwriter Bob Gale was asked about how he nearly predicted the future, and shared some mixed feelings about the newfound punchline.

Gale told the Hollywood Reporter that he and Robert Zemeckis have been asking "Is the joke ever going to be funny again?" now that the Cubs are really champions. It was silly when he and Zemeckis presented it in 1989 because they dreamed up "the most ridiculous and unbelievable sports event that we could think of" back then, in order to set off Marty McFly's near-destruction of the time line with Grey's Sports Almanac. Of course, now it isn't so silly and unlikely anymore.

Nonetheless, longtime St. Louis Cardinals fan Gale admits that since everyone still talks about the joke, it proves "that Back to the Future means so much to so many people." And although they were one year off, the movie's official Twitter account actually gave a scientific explanation.



Regardless of the science, Michael J. Fox also went on Twitter to state "Only off by a year, not bad. Congrats . This is so heavy." As for Zemeckis, he missed attending Game 6 and 7 in Cleveland despite going to Wrigley Field for Games 4 and 5.

While the comedic ironies are evident here, the Cubs' World Series win in the movie did technically trigger a dramatic near-apocalypse. Because the 100-1 long shot Cubs won the 2015 series over a Miami team not named the Marlins, it gave Marty the idea to buy a sports almanac and bet on future sporting events in the first place.

If not for the Cubs planting the idea in his head, Biff Tannen never would have stolen that idea to get rich himself, turning 1985 Hill Valley into a living nightmare. What's more, the all powerful Biff of 1985 was deliberately modeled after Donald Trump, so a Cubs championship triggering the rise to power of a Trump lookalike mere days later isn't unprecedented.

However, not all entertainment that predicted a Cubs title in the mid 2010s presented a horrible future. Parks and Recreation actually outdid Back to the Future in getting a 2016 Cubs title right, and showing a utopian Chicago in 2017 as a result, as creator Michael Schur reminded right after Game 7.



Whether the next week and the next year triggers a Parks and Rec type future or a Back to the Future: Part II future is still to be determined. In the meantime, while the Cubs celebrate their brighter future, Zemeckis is preparing to go back into the past with the WWII thriller Allied on Nov. 23.

Tags: Back to the Future: Part II (1989), Back to the Future (1985), Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, Back to the Future
About the Author
Robert Dougherty is a longtime online freelance writer, who wrote reviews, articles & editorials on movies/TV for several years on the now defunct Yahoo Voices.
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