After 36 years, classic sci-fi adventure and 1985’s highest grossing film, Back To The Future has become a hi-tech stage musical, led by a creative team that includes the co-writer of the original trilogy Bob Gale, and the Oscar-nominated composer behind the iconic score for the film Alan Silvestri.
Ahead of Back To The Future The Musical opening in the Adelphi Theatre from 20 August, the BFI present an online discussion with members of the cast and crew, broadcasting globally, for free, on BFI YouTube at 19:00 on Thursday 29 April.
The panel comprises Bob Gale, who, as well as co-writing the original trilogy, has written the book for the musical, and multi award winning composer Alan Silverstri, who has written new music and lyrics for the show alongside six-time Grammy award winner Glen Ballard, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Also on the panel are key cast and creatives from the show including producer Colin Ingram, director John Rando and actors Olly Dobson (Marty McFly), Rosanna Hyland (Lorraine Baines), Cedric Neal (Goldie Wilson / Marvin Berry) and Courtney-Mae Briggs (Jennifer Parker).
During the online event, the panel discusses how they went about adapting the hit film for the musical stage, what they did to make the story relevant to a new audience and what one studio exec wanted the film to be called before Steven Spielberg stepped in. Selected quotes are available for publication in promotion of the event:
Bob Gale reveals what Doc and Marty were originally going to time travel in: “It was a time chamber made from an old refrigerator and that was the way it was in the first two drafts and when we finally got the green light to go into pre-production… Bob Zemeckis is putting on his director’s hat and he says to me… wouldn’t Doc have been smart enough to build this thing into a car. Then he said the greatest thing, what if it was a DeLorean.”
Glen Ballard on coming on board with Alan Silvestri for music and lyrics and how they developed it: “With something like Back to the Future, for me the first thing I have to do is take the Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm. You’re looking at something that is a mountain of accomplishment.”
Bob Gale on the process of converting the movie into a musical and how important it was not to copy and paste the movie for stage: “It was critical to not do a slavish adaptation of the movie. This is a different medium and it was important to address the strengths of this medium. We do things in the show that you could never do in a movie and there’s things in the movie that you could never do on stage.”
Back To The Future The Musical is set to begin its run at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End on 20 August 2021.
BFI at Home: BACK TO THE FUTURE: FROM SCREEN TO STAGE premieres on BFI YouTube on Thursday 29 April at 19:00, and will be available to watch for free.