Michael J. Fox went from being one of the biggest TV stars in America (thanks to his lead role on Family Ties) to one of the most beloved movie stars in the world with 1985’s Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis’s sci-fi hit about a teenager named Marty McFly who travels back in time via a souped-up DeLorean and ends up having to make sure that his parents meet — and that he’s eventually born. Zemeckis’s blockbuster spawned two sequels, but since then, neither Marty nor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) has returned to the screen. This past weekend, however, the internet was rocked by what seemed like a game-changing announcement.
On Saturday, an unofficial Michael J. Fox Facebook fan page published the below message, accompanied by a photo of Fox, Lloyd, and Lea Thompson (aka Marty McFly’s mom) together — proof, supposedly, that the trio really were hard at work on a new installment of the Back to the Future franchise:
— Peter De Smet (@dewlanna) June 10, 2018
A post shared by Lea Thompson (@lea_thompson) on Jul 17, 2015 at 3:17pm PDT
Twitterverse quickly got caught up in the excitement:
MICHAEL J FOX JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THERE WILL BE A BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 4 I’M CRYING THIS IS THE GREATEST NEWS I’VE EVER HEARD
— mikewazowski (@Ratchell__) June 10, 2018
Holy shit Back to the Future 4 is real and with the original cast #mindblown
— Andrew White (@ytevo79) June 10, 2018
Back To The Future 4 is actually confirmed by @realmikefox! So syked for this! Yes!!!!!!!
— Cinematic Venom (@CinematicVenom) June 10, 2018
Top Gun 2 last week and now back to the future 4 confirmed!!! – life is getting pretty exciting at the moment!
— Serenade The Stars (@serenade_stars) June 10, 2018
BACK TO THE FUTURE 4??!???!??
please let this be real
— Joey Mercado (@joeyroooo) June 10, 2018
Unfortunately, the notion of the cast reuniting for Back to the Future IV turned out to be a hoax.
As you can see from the caption on Thompson’s Instagram pic, the photo dates back to 2015 (from a London Comic Con Back to the Future 30th anniversary celebration). And that revelation, along with the initial post’s spelling errors, eventually tipped off fans about the phoniness of this announcement, which has since been deleted.
All of which confirms a familiar rule — always be wary about what you read online, especially when it involves long-coveted dream projects that sound too good to be true.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Watch: Lea Thompson on how makeup transformed her in Back to the Future: