Who would have guessed that some fictional grot could cause such a fracas! That a made up spank mag could get creatives so excited. But it has! Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis aren’t happy.
It turns out there was a very slightly edited version of Back To The Future II out there. Fans noticed a small edit in the version Netflix was streaming. When Marty finds the Oh La La magazine within the sports almanac dustcover the shot of the cover of the adult trembler magazine was removed from the movie.
Writer Bob Gale says neither he nor director Robert Zemeckis knew the Netflix-streamed version existed.
Gale says he knows Netflix is not responsible as they don’t edit movies, they just play the version they are sent by the studio. He knows who is to blame:
“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.
Apparently, 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.
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.'”
So a rogue version was created by the studio for some puritanical foreign hellhole, like Canada, and that is what found its way to Netflix?
Whatever happened, it is interesting to hear that Gale and Zemeckis still feel such ownership of the franchise and hold enough sway at Universal. They have both been very vocal that a fourth movie or a reboot on the big screen will never happen.
All three Back to the Future films are currently streaming on Netflix.