Ghost producer eyes Back to the Future musical

The producer of Ghost, Colin Ingram, is preparing a new West End remake of classic 80’s movie Back to the Future.

Back to the Future producer Colin Ingram (right) with Ghost screenwriter Bruce Rubin
Back to the Future producer Colin Ingram (right) with Ghost screenwriter Bruce Rubin

Producing with Universal Stage Productions (Billy Elliot)  and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, plus  Donovan Mannato and CJ E&M, the new musical will open in the West End in 2015, marking the movie’s 30th anniversary.

Bob Gale, the writer of the 1985 movie, and film’s director Robert Zemeckis have penned the stage adaptation.

The show will be produced by Colin Ingram, whose productions include Breakfast At Tiffany’s in London and New York, and Ghost The Musical, which premiered in Manchester before playing in the West End and Broadway. The show is currently on both UK and US tours.

Ingram is currently developing two major musicals, one of which is Back to the Future. He focuses on buying the underlying rights to existing works and putting together a team of creatives to develop the show.

In the case of Back to the Future, the show will be directed by the ubiquitous Jamie Lloyd, who has The Commitments currently running at the Palace Theatre and Urinetown opening shortly at the St James Theatre. Two workshops of Back to the Future will be held by Jamie Lloyd, in July in LA and August in London. The second will be to help secure a theatre for the show.

Lloyd is teaming up again with The Commitments and Urinetown designer Soutra Gilmour for the show, and The Commitments lighting designer Jon Clark. Illusions will be by go-to stage magic man Paul Kieve.

Jamie Lloyd, director of Back to the Future The Musical, promoting his latest project The Commitments
Jamie Lloyd, director of Back to the Future The Musical, promoting his latest project The Commitments

The original Back to the Future movie and its two sequels starred Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson. In the movie wannabe rock star teenager Marty McFly is accidentally sent thirty years back into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean sports car invented by his mad-professor friend, Dr. Emmett Brown. Once in the past Marty needs to make sure that his parents, who are at high-school, get together in order to save his own existence.

Given the show will mark the 30th anniversary of the movie, it will mean that the movie’s present day setting will actually be 30 years ago!

Rumours of a stage adaptation of the movie have been doing the rounds for a long time, but the rights holders and original creative team have now fixed on partners they want to work with. Gale said in a statement that: “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.”

Robert Zemeckis directed all three of the Back to the Future films, as well as Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump, for which he won the Oscar for Best Director.  Further directing credits include Cast Away, What Lies Beneath, The Polar Express, Flight and A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. Bob Gale co-wrote and co-produced the Back to the Future Trilogy with Robert Zemeckis, his long-standing collaborator.  In addition to numerous other screenplays, he has also written comics, including issues of Batman and The Amazing Spider-Man.

The producers have secured a number of hits for the show that were featured in the movie’s soundtrack including The Power Of Love by Huey Lewis And The News and songs including Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Mr Sandman.

The score of the show will be penned by Ghost writer Glen Ballard, and the movie’s original composer Alan Silvestri is collaborating on some songs.

There is no news on casting.

UPDATE 8 September 2020: Back To The Future: The Musical will receive its London premiere at the Adelphi Theatre running from 14 May 2021 until 19 December 2021.

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