BTTF USA Today actual prop

USA Today's October 22, 2015 issue. The yellow flash in the top right-hand corner identifies it as the HILL VALLEY EDITION


The changed issue of USA Today, giving the name of Leslie


" He [Doc] reached into another one of his pockets and pulled out a newspaper. It was a USA Today: 'Hill Valley Edition'! / LOCAL YOUTH JAILED IN ATTEMPTED THEFT! the main headline screamed, and below that, in smaller letters, 'Youth Gang Denies Complicity'. / But Marty's eyes were drawn to the color picture immediately beneath, a photo of a kid who looked exactly like Marty! "
—From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 22)

USA Today was a national publication that had created city-specific editions for communities across the nation by 2015.


In Hill Valley, a USA Today: Hill Valley Edition replaced the Hill Valley Telegraph as the primary source of news information.

When Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown arrived in 2015, the October 22 issue read YOUTH JAILED — Martin McFly Junior Arrested for Theft. However, after Marty encountered Griff Tannen and his gang, resulting in their havoc on the Courthouse, the story altered to GANG JAILED — Hoverboard Rampage Destroys Courthouse. A hovercam bearing the USA Today logo was seen taking the photograph that would accompany the changed story.

Journalists working for USA Today in 2015 included Steven Anderson,[1] Matthew Urbanos, Natalie McDonald, Michael Klastorin, Travis Pietsch and Tom Miller.[2]

By 2091, USA Today was replaced by Megabyte Daily.

Behind the scenes[]


The October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today, with 'satellite' — as in "VIA COMPU-FAX SATELLITE" — misspelled as 'satelite' (in the top left-hand corner).

Usa-today1-jpg 1445454361

A drone bearing the USA Today logo, which was built for the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future.

  • 'Satellite' is spelled incorrectly as 'satelite' on one of the two existing BTTFII movie prop newspapers. This misspelling has been corrected for the other existing movie prop newspaper and the special "front page wrap" for the real-life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today.
  • In the main text bodies under the titles, the article about Marty Jr.'s arrest repeats itself. As the text body would have been too illegible on television, the designers of this newspaper did not consider it important to make unique stories for every different headline that did not pertain to the protagonists.
  • USA Today must have an extensive worldwide circulation by 2015 in order for 3 billion readers to read it as population projections for the United States are put at about 325.7 million by 2015.
  • Unless considerable efforts are made for the English language to be learned by 3 billion people by 2015, it could be assumed that USA Today is available in many languages.
  • When the news story YOUTH JAILED – Martin McFly Junior Arrested for Theft appeared as part of the "front page wrap" for the real-life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today, the closing paragraph was changed from the movie prop newspaper. This originally read: "The perpetrators received minor injuries and were immediately apprehended by Hill Valley Police. They are being held in the City lockup pending immediate trial." The new paragraph read: "The McFly family is no strangers to run-ins with the law. Martin McFly was involved in a drag racing accident involving an innocent bystander in 1985."



The "front page wrap" for the real-life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today

  • The price for the issue is $6.00, whereas in real life in 2015 it cost $2.00.
  • The usatoday.com website URL is noticeably absent, as the movie makers had obviously not foreseen the rise of the internet. In its place is the caption "VIA COMPU-FAX SATELITE." Compu-Fax was a program used by hovercams to write automated stories for the paper. (In real life, Compu-Fax already exists and has actually been used since the 2000s, but is still being perfected due to lack of sufficient artificial intelligence.)
  • USA Today has yet to create city-specific editions such as the 2015 Hill Valley Edition shown in Back to the Future Part II. Also in real life, the futuristic-looking USA Today logo has not appeared, other than on the October 22, 2015 issue (see following footnote); and the main news story on the front page is not enclosed in a box-out with thick red borders. 
    • City-based newspapers like The New York Times and Los Angeles Times still exist in 2015. Even Gannett, USA Today's owner, have local newspapers like Detroit Free Press and The Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • USA Today did, however, create a special "front page wrap" for the October 22, 2015 issue of the newspaper, closely resembling the one shown in the movie. Instead of repeated filler texts, the articles were actually rewritten based on headlines. And since only the top half of the front page was visible in the film, new articles about a pizza re-hydration accident, A Match Made in Space receiving a Hollywood remake, and an article on the public's gullibility — a meta article notifying uninformed readers of the fictional nature of the front page — were added. However, the prominent headline for Queen Diana visiting Washington was replaced with a headline about 3D billboards, and entirely omitted in the Newsline section. A final change was the cost of the paper — while listed as "6 Dollars" in the film, that price is replaced with the regular "2 Dollars". 


See also[]


  1. Prop October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today
  2. Special "front page wrap" for real life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today (see 'External links' below)

External links[]