This is heavy, Doc. Back to the Future, the beloved ’80s time travel film, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a musical in 2015 put on by London’s West End. Robert Zemeckis, the director for all three Back to the Future films, will return to co-write the musical alongside original screenwriter Bob Gale and Jamie Lloyd, who will also direct. The trio will also “write a new book to accompany the stage show.” New music and lyrics will be composed by composer Alan Silvestri and song writer and record producer Glen Ballard. The production is even getting its own skateboard consultant!
According to The Telegraph, Back to the Future is the latest in a line of musicals based on ’80s movies, which include Ghost, Flashdance, Dirty Dancing and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Lloyd expressed his enthusiasm for the original film, and stated that they have hired an artistic team to “discover a unique theatrical language to take audiences on a journey through time in a vibrant, unexpected way,” rather than just recreate the film.
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.
In a world where Batman and Spider-Man have gotten their own musicals, Back to the Future actually sounds very tame. As a fan of the trilogy, I’m interested to see how they’ll adapt the original movie for the stage. My primary concern is the DeLorean. Whenever the DeLorean hits 88 miles per hour, we see some serious shit when sparks start flying and in one case cause flames to ignite. Not to mention that it will be tough to show Marty’s instantaneous travel from one year to another on stage.My guess is that when Marty travels through time in the musical, the travelling will be shown through lighting and background sets rather than have a prop car be driven across the stage.
This musical is definitely going to be a challenge to create, but if it succeeds it’s possible it might come to Broadway, and I think American audiences would love to see it, especially considering it wouldn’t involve an actor swinging over them night after night. Although honestly, I would have preferred the flying cars and self-drying jackets as a 30th anniversary gift.