Why ‘Back to the Future’ Star Christopher Lloyd Took Some Serious Convincing to Take on Doc Brown Role

by Megan Molseed

Is it even possible to imagine the iconic film Back to the Future without Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown?! Well, thankfully we don’t need to imagine such a thing as Christopher Lloyd did take on the memorable role, traveling across time and straight into our hearts.

However, this is a moment in movie history that almost never came to fruition.

When Christopher Lloyd was first presented with the script for the 1985 hit film which eventually grew into two sequels, he wasn’t sure if this role was a good one for him at the time. Thankfully, Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis was able to convince Lloyd how valuable he would be in the iconic film.

Recently, Christopher Lloyd opened up to Today to reminisce about the popular film and how he initially had no interest in the role that would later become one of the most memorable of his successful career.

“I went through it. I just wasn’t into it,” Christorpher Lloyd tells Al Roker in the recent Today interview.

Lloyd adds that his immediate reaction to the script was to toss it aside.

“I put it in the wastepaper basket,” the actor remembers.

Thankfully, Christopher Lloyd didn’t need a Delorian with time-traveling capabilities to take him back to the pivotal moment.

Christopher Lloyd Has Second Thoughts About ‘Back to the Future’

While Lloyd had initially passed on the script, something was telling him that it was something to which he should take a second look. In fact, it probably ended up being more valuable to the actor overall than the Grays Sports Almanac was to Biff in the Back to the Future sequel Back to the Future II. Well, almost.

“I pulled it out, I looked at it,” the eighty-three-year-old actor recalls.

“I still wasn’t sure of Doc,” Christorpher Lloyd continues. “But went back and met (director) Bob Zemeckis, and that was that.”

Now, Christopher Lloyd had already been experiencing the effects of a hugely successful career by the time the Back to the Future script made its way onto his desk.

However, it was his role as Doc Brown in the hit film that made Lloyd a household name across generations.

Christopher Lloyd won two Emmy awards portraying Jim Ignatowski in the popular 1970s and 1980s sitcom Taxi which also starred Danny DeVito and Andy Kauffman.

Lloyd’s film debut came in 1975 when Lloyd starred opposite Jack Nicholson in the heartbreakingly iconic film One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

A prolific career for Lloyd, no doubt.

But it was his role in Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox that brought full name-recognition fame to the longtime actor. A feat he knew he had accomplished from the day the film opened in theaters.

“It opened, and certainly wishing that it’d be a great opening and have a run, but it just kept running,” Lloyd said.

 “It’s just so well put together,” the actor adds. “So well written, so well performed. It’s a piece of magic.”