Michael J. Fox candidly reflects on his health and Hollywood legacy in the powerful trailer for a new documentary about his life.
Directed by Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie combines archival footage from the sets of some of Fox’s most memorable projects — including Back to the Future — with interviews, vintage photos, and scripted recreations of key moments from the actor’s personal past.
Included in the trailer are emotional recollections of the moment Fox first discovered Parkinson’s disease symptoms in his finger at the height of his fame.
“I woke up and I noticed my pinky auto-animated. Parkinson’s disease,” the 61-year-old recalls in the clip above. “I told [my wife] Tracy the news. ‘In sickness and in health,’ I remember her whispering. No one outside of my family knew.”
Fox, who’s been sober for roughly 30 years, also recounts abusing alcohol and pills following his diagnosis, which he says was an attempt “to hide” from reality. “But, all those years hiding was shaking me awake,” he continues.
The story is not a morose one, but rather a celebration of the charisma that made audiences fall in love with Fox throughout the 1980s. Guggenheim can be heard telling him that the “sad-sack story is: Michael J. Fox gets this debilitating disease, and it crushes him,” before Fox responds, “Yeah that’s boring.”
“I’m a tough son of a bitch,” Fox asserts.
Apple TV + Michael J. Fox in the Apple TV+ documentary ‘Still’
Though not highlighted in the trailer, the film also touches on Fox’s daily struggles with Parkinson’s — including several injuries. As we noted following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Fox reveals in the film that he fell and broke bones in his face that resulted in surgery and pins inserted into his body as he recovered.
“When we do talk about it, it’s more about [Michael] becoming a full person,” Guggenheim told EW out of the film’s SXSW screening in March. “I’m not shying away from Parkinson’s, but reading his books, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s got something that I want.’ He says, ‘Life threw me this curve ball, and it’s bringing me down.’ I watch how Michael’s dealt with that, and that’s given me a path forward. It could be Parkinson’s, it could be cancer, it could be work, it could be anything. But that’s the appeal to me; it’s a universal story. The pitch was: What happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease?”
Fox also spoke about the narrative of the film and what it captures about his story.
“What’s interesting about the film, and I love the way [Davis] told the story, is that there’s this kid going on this great adventure, and the odds being — I mean, look at my situation. Those are f—ing ridiculous odds. I mean, crazy odds,” he said. “I love my parents, and I love that they allowed me to [move to Hollywood], but they really shouldn’t have. They were naive. So then, to have moved through that and had it turn out to be this unqualified success, only to be 29 with a Parkinson’s diagnosis — where’s the ground floor for investigating that? Where’s the ground floor of being 16 years old and getting in my car, and going to California? There is none. You make it up as you go along.”
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie premieres May 12 on Apple TV+. Watch the trailer above.