An untitled nonfiction feature film about the life of beloved “Back to the Future” star Michael J. Fox is in production at Apple Original Films, the streamer announced on Wednesday. Filming, helmed by Oscar and Emmy-winning director Davis Guggenheim, is already underway in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada.
Neither billed as a biopic nor a documentary feature, the pic will incorporate “documentary, archival and scripted elements,” unraveling Fox’s story “in his own words.” It will trace the veteran actor’s “improbable” rise to Hollywood stardom in the 1980s blockbuster era, as well as explore Fox’s adolescence on a Canadian army base.
The project will also delve into the intimate details of Fox’s publicly known Parkinson’s disease — an incurable progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and often features tremors — with which he was diagnosed at 29.
Naturally, the film will also detail Fox’s illustrious career, during which he won five Emmys (spearheaded the nostalgia-inducing “Back to the Future” franchise) and starred in countless movies and shows including “The American President,” “Spin City” and “Family Ties.”
Away from the silver screen, Fox has dedicated his life to advocacy through his self-titled foundation, launched in 2000 and committed to Parkinson’s research and finding a cure. He officially retired from acting in 2020.
“Intimate and honest, and produced with unprecedented access to Fox and his family, the film will chronicle Fox’s personal and professional triumphs and travails, and will explore what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease,” read Apple TV+’s press release, referencing Fox’s 2009 Emmy-nominated documentary short. “With a mix of adventure and romance, comedy and drama, watching the film will feel like…well, like a Michael J. Fox movie.”
Concordia Studio is producing the film, with Guggenheim, Annetta Marion, Will Cohen and Jonathan King serving as producers. Executive producers are Laurene Powell Jobs, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott and Fox’s longtime producing partner Nelle Fortenberry. The project marks the second partnership for Apple and Concordia Studio following the Emmy-winning documentary “Boys State.”
Earlier this year, Apple Studios made history as the first streaming service to garner an Oscar for Best Picture with its groundbreaking “CODA,” about a child of deaf adults who has a dream to pursue singing.