A Truly Awful Alternate Title for Back to the Future Was Suggested by the Studio

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Some non-space men. Photo: Universal Studios/Courtesy of Harper Collins

The release of Michael Klastorin's Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History provides a mountain of photos and insight into the film trilogy, including a eye-rolling memo from then–Universal Pictures president Sidney Sheinberg, requesting a new title for Back to the Future. In the note, Sheinberg suggests that the title be Space Man From Pluto.

Yeaaah.

This comes immediately after Sheinberg balks at the "less than wonderful" title Back to the Future for making it seem like a "genre" film. Whereas Space Man From Pluto sounds like a late-career Robert Redford emotional drama. Sheinberg also suggests throwing the phrase "space man from Pluto" into random scenes so the audience gets that this title means something. He concludes that this title has "heat, originality, and projects fun."

Photo: Universal Studios/Courtesy of Harper Collins

According to a caption in the book, Spielberg blessedly responded with a memo thanking Sheinberg for the "humorous" note, which ended the discussion. And how do argue with Spielberg in the '80s when his hat game was so on point?

Photo: Universal Studios/Courtesy of Harper Collins

Here's another photo from the book, of Einstein's stunt double, because dogs.

Photo: Universal Studios/Courtesy of Harper Collins

Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History is now available.