See early designs for Marty McFly's Back to the Future 2 hoverboard


In 1986, Industrial Light and Magic artist John Bell designed what would become an icon of Hollywood futurism, Marty McFly's Hoverboard from Back To The Future 2.

Over at Co.Design, Bell shares his 1980s design inspiration and early sketches of the "McFlyBoy." From Mark Wilson's article:

The hoverboard of the film is a Mattel-branded toy of the future, designed for girls and thereby coated in Barbie-esque hot pink. But Bell's original hoverboard sketches looked a lot different, and for years he worked on a series of hoverboards for Marty and Griff's gang that were less magical, and more mechanical.

In Bell's very first hoverboard sketch, Marty more or less surfs on a miniature hovercraft, complete with lights and air vents. It has Swatch and Zubaz patterning that would be later lost to the pink aesthetics of a Mattel sponsorship. The word "Rodis" was an homage to Nilo Rodis Jamero—the famed ILM designer who originally hired Bell.

How John Bell Designed The Future, And The Hoverboard