Jeff Goldblum, Chevy Chase and Robin Williams Almost Played Doc Brown in ‘Back to the Future’

This is just 1.21 gigawatts of insanity.

Great Scott! As impossible as it is to imagine, in an alternate universe—or, perhaps, an alternate timeline—Emmett “Doc” Brown was not played by Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future. According to a document recently uncovered by producer Will McCrabb, a who’s who of eccentric ’80s stars were considered for the iconic role.

Some of the choices make sense. Sure, it’s easy to picture bug-eyed Jeff Goldblum, manic Robin Williams, or crazy-haired Gene Wilder playing the Doc. But prissy Brit John Cleese? Tough guy Mickey Rourke? Bill Cosby?! Let’s thank the movie gods that director Robert Zemeckis made the choice he did.

Oh, and if the wild casting of Doc Brown isn’t enough, McCrabb also revealed that MCA/Universal bigwig Sid Sheinberg sent a letter to Back to the Future executive producer Steven Spielberg asking that the title be changed to—wait for it—Space Man From Pluto. Ooof.

Word is that Spielberg, in response, sent a memo back to Sheinberg thanking him for his “joke memo,” and that the office “got a kick out of it.” Thankfully for us, and our childhoods, an embarrassed Sheinberg let Spielberg and Zemeckis keep the name.