‘Back To The Future’ heads to the London stage

It’s been rumored for years (the last 10, to be exact), but it looks like it’s finally going to happen. Back to the Future is going to be a musical.

Back To The FutureThe first inklings came from the co-creator of the trilogy, Bob Gale, at a Delorean Car Show & Convention back in 2004. He told those in attendance, “Now actually what Bob (Robert Zemekis, co-creator and Director of the films) and I’ve talked about — we can’t do it because we don’t know how to do this kind of thing — but you know how they bring back movies as Broadway musicals? It seems like Back to the Future would make a great Broadway show. So someday, maybe that’ll happen. That’s something I’d like to see.”

But that was 2004, and now it’s 2014.

Now we have confirmation. Zemekis and Gale are working with Universal Stage Productions (who are behind the stage productions of Wicked and Billy Elliot, so that’s a plus), Stage Producer Colin Ingram, and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to produce the show for the London stage to coincide with the original films 30th anniversary in 2015. If successful, the Back to the Future Musical would then move to Broadway.

They seem to be doing this right if the powers behind the show are any indication. Zemekis and Gale will work with Jamie Lloyd on the “book” (aka script and songs, for those not in the know), and Lloyd will then direct the stage production. Music and lyrics will come from the films original composer Alan Silvestri and his longtime collaborator Glen Ballard. And of course you can expect songs from Back to the Future to be included as well – including Huey Lewis & The News’ “Power of Love” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”.

Gale says of the project:

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.”

Lloyd adds:

I was five when I saw Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s landmark movie, Back to the Future, and I have been a huge fan ever since. I am thrilled to be directing and co-writing this exciting new musical based on their masterful film, which has become embedded in our popular culture. 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.

Looks like it’s time to start planning a trip to London in 2015. If I can’t do the opening, I might just have to aim for October 21st.