Back to the Future

Two years ago Bob Gale cautioned Back to the Future fans not to believe everything they read with respect to the idea of the 1985 film becoming a Broadway musical. Now we know the real deal: the film is being turned into a London West End musical — a totally different thing! (That’s sarcasm.) The Back to the Future musical is real: Gale and Robert Zemeckis are working with Amblin, Universal Stage Productions (WickedBilly Elliot), and producer Colin Ingram on the stage work.

Music for the show will be written by Alan Silvestri, and Jamie Lloyd is directing. We’ve got a new statement from Gale, below, along with some more info. 

The latest from Gale, via BTTF.net, is:

The Back to the Future Musical is a project that Bob Zemeckis and I have been exploring for almost ten years. We’re thrilled to be at last in partnership with a creative and producing team that will create a show that is true to the spirit of the film without being a slavish remake. Director Jamie Lloyd is full of passion, energy and imaginative ideas and we are overjoyed to have the film’s composer Alan Silvestri composing the music, with lyrics by Glen Ballard who has also collaborated with Zemeckis before on many projects. With all of us working together, we know the integrity of the material will be preserved in a production that will be a wonderful companion to the Trilogy. We intend to use music from the movie along with brand new songs to make a version of Back to the Future that is fresh, entertaining, and takes advantage of all the amazing things that can now be done on stage. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film.

The full set of credits known at this point is that the musical’s book will be by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Jamie Lloyd; it will have new music and lyrics from Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard; other familiar music from the film will be used, including ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode;’ and the production will be directed by Jamie Lloyd, with set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting design by Jon Clark, and musical supervision by Alan Williams. There’s even someone consulting on the skateboarding bits!

Jamie Lloyd said,

Rather than attempt to recreate such an iconic movie on stage, we have assembled a brilliant artistic team to discover a unique theatrical language to take audiences on a journey through time in a vibrant, unexpected way. The production will include illusions, skateboarding and many other surprises that will capture the spirit of the film but freshly interpret it for a new audience. Steven Spielberg once described the film as a musical and whilst we are incorporating some of the original, exhilarating score and songs, Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard’s witty, infectious and heartfelt new songs are the perfect springboard to tell this uplifting story anew.

The Back to the Future musical should open in London’s West End in 2015, in time for the film’s 30th anniversary. It may head to Broadway in the US after that.

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