When Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) asked Michael J. Fox if he would collaborate on a documentary about life before and after his 1991 Parkinson’s diagnosis, Fox agreed—on one condition. “No violins,” said the actor and activist. As he put it in this intimate and insightful film, “I’m a tough son of a bitch.”
The major part of Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is the frank interviews with the actor, whose boyish, cheeky presence graced beloved 1980s and ’90s TV series (Family Ties and Spin City) and blockbuster movies including the Back to the Future trilogy. Meanwhile, he hid his 1991 diagnosis until a dramatic 1998 reveal.
Guggenheim fills out the story with home movies from Fox’s upbringing, family scenes with wife Tracy Pollan and their four children and Fox’s grueling physical therapy workouts. The film also uses clips from Fox’s career that show his evolving state
of mind, from insecure to “relentlessly upbeat,” even in the face of eroding physical skills.
“Spending time with Michael, I found myself thinking, ‘I really want what he has.’ I love his view on life,” an admiring Guggenheim says. “I love his attitude, even though [Parkinson’s] is kicking the s-h*t out of him. He calls it ‘the gift that keeps on taking.’”
Learn more about Fox’s incurable optimism in the face of an incurable disease in the Apple TV+ film, available now on the streaming platform.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is produced by Guggenheim, Anetta Marion, Will Cohen, and Jonathan King. Laurene Powell Jobs, Jonathan Silberberg, Nicole Stott, and Nelle Fortenberry serve as executive producers.
This is an excerpt from TV Insider’s June issue. For more in-depth, reported coverage devoted to streaming shows from the publishers of TV Guide Magazine, pick up the issue, currently on newsstands or purchase it online here. You can also subscribe to TV Insider Magazine here now.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Streaming Now, Apple TV+