Actors Christopher Lloyd (l), Michael J Fox (c) and Lea Thompson (r) attend a media conference for the 30th anniversary of their film "Back to the Future" at the London Film and Comic-Con in London, Britain July 17, 2015.
Actors Christopher Lloyd (l), Michael J Fox (c) and Lea Thompson (r) attend a media conference for the 30th anniversary of their film "Back to the Future" at the London Film and Comic-Con in London, Britain July 17, 2015. Reuters/Neil Hall

“Back to the Future 4” isn’t happening. A Facebook post from an account purporting to be Canadian-American actor Michael J Fox has gone viral, getting fans excited for a new instalment of the film franchise. Unfortunately, it appears to be a fake account.

On Saturday, a Facebook page named “Michael J Fox” announced that a fourth film from the classic film franchise would be happening. Saturday, June 8, was also the actor’s 57th birthday.

“Hi everybody! Today is very important day, besides of being my birthday, I’m announcing…” the post reads, including five drum emojis as if to mimic the suspense sound of announcement. “BACK TO THE FUTURE IV!!!!!”

The post, which includes a photo of Fox with his co-stars Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, continues, “We thought about for many years and we sarted shooting it last summer. I’ll reveal the release date in a few days. Love you all!!!” [sic]

The post was liked by over 363,000 people and shared more than 166,000 times. Fans of the original franchise were unsurprisingly thrilled about the news as it had been 28 years since the third film was released.

Unfortunately, the unticked Facebook account was not Fox’s. It doesn’t appear to be a fan page as well, but just a fake account that claims to be the actor’s. The photo in the post was from Thompson’s Instagram account that she posted in July 2015 when they reunited for “Back to the Future’s 30th anniversary.

Fox’s official Twitter page also made no mention of the alleged announcement on Facebook. His last post on June 2 was a picture of himself and his wife, actress Tracy Pollen, in support of a gun safety campaign in the US.

When called out that it was a fake account because it had no blue tick, which symbolises verified accounts, the Facebook page claimed it was simply because “I don’t know how to do it.”

“Hey guys! I’ve seen a lot of people saying that my last post it’s a fake one. Don’t hear them. They’re just jealous little children that want to be an actor like me,” [sic] the post reads.

The real Fox, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, had not mentioned if he was willing to do another “Back to the Future” film, though Lloyd had said he would love to revisit his role. He played the eccentric Dr Emmett Brown in the three original films, as well as in the animated series.

“I would love to do Doc again, no question,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “It’s tough to come up with an idea that contains the excitement of the original three. So it would be a real challenge for the writers to come up with an original ‘Back to the Future’ story that has the same passion and intensity and excitement as the other three. But it could be done, you never know.”

One concern was Fox’s battle with the degenerative disorder, but Lloyd said he wouldn’t do the film without the younger actor. “I can’t see doing another sequel without him. I would certainly want [writer/director] Bob Zemeckis directing it, Bob Gale writing it and other principals being involved.”

And when asked if it’s possible that the franchise would get a reboot instead of a sequel, Lloyd wasn’t open to the idea, saying, “it’s hard to replace Marty. Michael J Fox was so wonderful in the role.”

Fox almost didn’t play Marty McFly

The first “Back to the Future,” released in 1985, made Fox a movie star. He was already known for his television role in the sitcom “Family Ties,” but it was the sci-fi comedy that propelled his stardom. Even though he was the first choice to play Marty McFly, he almost didn’t make it because of his shooting commitment with the sitcom.

Actor Eric Stoltz got the role instead, and he already filmed about four weeks of shots. But Zemeckis thought Stoltz was miscast, and even though they would be going overboard with their budget, he decided to recast the role. Fortunately, Fox’s schedule became free, allowing him to commit to the film.

“Back to the Future” became a commercial and critics’ hit, spending almost three months at the top of the box office. Two sequels followed: “Part II” was released in 1989 and “Part III” was released in 1990.