Is This a Sneak Peak at 'Back to the Future 4'?

The last time we saw Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown was at the end of 1990's Back to the Future, Part III, where he bid Marty McFly a fond farewell before departing 1985 for times unknown with his new family in a stylized time-traveling hovertrain. Since then, "Back to the Future" fans have yearned for another installment of Robert Zemeckis's epic science-fiction adventure trilogy, which ranks high on our list of the greatest (and highest grossing) movie franchises of all time. Prospects of a fourth sequel seemed dim: In November 2010, screenwriter Bob Gale insisted that neither he nor Zemeckis had any plans for a new Back to the Future film.

But a new video, featuring a frazzled Christopher Lloyd emerging from a reconstituted DeLorean (wasn't it destroyed at the end of Part III?) raises new hopes. Shot from the first-person, home-movie perspective that defined the viral trailers for J. J. Abrams's Cloverfield, Doc Brown startles a Spanish-speaking couple before parking in the entrance to a movie theater. "What year is it?" he asked, eyes wide. "2011? Great Scott!" While there's no sign of Michael J. Fox, a quixotic Lloyd in his full-body radiation suit should excite Back to the Future fans everywhere.

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Jared Keller is a journalist based in New York. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and Al Jazeera America, and is a former associate editor for The Atlantic.

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