Back to the Future gets a musical makeover

Popular film trilogy will be adapted for the stage with input from original writers and producers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 9:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 9:46pm


Back to the Future, which starred Michael J. Fox as teenage time traveller Marty McFly, is to become the latest film to be adapted as a West End musical.

Jamie Lloyd, a rising star of theatre, is to direct and co-write a new version of the 1985 film that will also involve the original men behind it: Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.

Lloyd said he was five when he first saw the film "and I have been a huge fan ever since". Back to the Future is due to open in 2015, the 30th anniversary of the original film - and the same year that McFly visited in Back to the Future II.

The producers said it was not a matter of simply transporting a successful film to the stage. Gale, who co-wrote and co-produced all three Back to the Future films with Zemeckis, said it had been important to get the right team and to "create a show that is true to the spirit of the film without being a slavish remake".

"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," Gale said.

He said they had been exploring the idea of a musical for a decade and would include new music and lyrics by the film's original composer, Alan Silvestri, and Glen Ballard, as well as original songs in the film such as Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode.

Back to the Future tells the story of Marty McFly who gets sent back in a time machine DeLorean from 1985 to 1955 by mad scientist Doc Emmett Brown.

Once there he becomes embroiled in the lives of his real parents, including his mother, who develops a crush on him.

It was a phenomenal hit, taking US$360 million (equivalent to US$783 million now) at the box office, while the takings for it and its two sequels totalled more than US$936 million.

The West End version will have producers that also include Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and the producer Colin Ingram, who was behind Ghost the Musical. Casting has yet to be announced.

The production continues a long-established trend of taking popular films and adapting them as musicals for the stage - with a list including Carrie, The Bodyguard, and Billy Elliot.