By Maureen Lee Lenker
December 11, 2019 at 01:00 PM EST
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TCM has to go back!

For a network that has made an art of returning to the past, it’s time to go back to the future. On Wednesday, TCM announced that a 35th anniversary screening of Back to the Future will kick off the 11th annual TCM Classic Film Festival this spring.

Stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson will join co-writer/co-producer Bob Gale for the gala opening, which will also mark the world premiere of a new 4K remaster of the film.

Fox famously portrays Marty McFly, a high school kid who finds himself mixed up in a time-traveling adventure with the help of his eccentric scientist friend, Doc Brown (Lloyd). Marty risks setting off a time-shattering chain reaction when he travels back in time to his parents’ youth and his mother, Lorraine (Thompson), begins to fall for him instead of his father. Back to the Future kickstarted a massive franchise, inspiring two sequels, theme park attractions, and more.

Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

“Like virtually everyone else of my generation, I saw Back to the Future when it was released in 1985 and within an instant, the story, the characters, the music, and the car, of course, became critical touchstones in my personal cinematic universe,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, in a statement. “And those actors — Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Christopher Lloyd — forever carved themselves into an ’80s-movie version of Mount Rushmore. Step aside, John McClane; move over, Ferris Bueller; Marty McFly — the brainchild of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale — is the definitive character of the decade.”

It’ll be a big year for the Back to the Future brand, as 2020 also marks the previously announced world premiere of a musical based on the film.

This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival centers on the theme “Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film” and will take place April 16-19 in Hollywood.

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