Back to the Future writer-director Robert Zemeckis again dashed hopes for a Back to the Future Part IV during a virtual cast reunion hosted by Josh Gad. Reuniting the cast and crew ahead of the 35th anniversary of the original Back to the Future to fundraise for coronavirus relief, the second episode of Gad's Reunited Apart gathered trilogy stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson, with Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale joining Elisabeth Shue (Back to the Future Part II and Part III), Mary Steenburgen (Part III), composer Alan Silvestri, and "Power of Love" and "Back In Time" singer-songwriter Huey Lewis during the remote reunion.
Prompted by Gad to pitch a hypothetical Back to the Future Part IV sending Marty McFly (Fox) and Doc Brown (Lloyd) traveling through time, Gale said, "Well, it would have to be that Doc and Marty find out that we're thinking about making another Back to the Future movie. They come back to stop us from doing such a crazy thing."
Added Zemeckis, "If I had an idea that I could have pitched to Bob with a straight face, we would have made it. I have no answer to that question."
Explaining why Universal Pictures and producer Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment have yet to reboot the beloved franchise, Gale said at the time, "Because, per our contracts with these companies, no Back to the Future sequel or remake can even be scripted without discussing it with us first. No such discussions have taken place. We are very proud of the trilogy as it stands and we want to leave it as is."
During the 30th anniversary celebration of the original movie in 2015, Zemeckis remarked a potential Back to the Future remake "can't happen until both Bob and I are dead."
"And then I'm sure they'll do it, unless there's a way our estates can stop it," Zemeckis said. "I mean, to me, [a remake is] outrageous. Especially since it's a good movie. It's like saying 'Let's remake Citizen Kane. Who are we going to get to play Kane?' What folly, what insanity is that? Why would anyone do that?"
After Lloyd said he was open to returning for a Back to the Future Part IV in 2018, Zemeckis again ruled out a fourth movie when reached for comment: "There will never, ever be, in the most absolutely way, a Back to the Future 4. There will be no more Back to the Future."