One of the most popular films of the 80s, Back To The Future, is to be adapted as a stage musical and open in London’s West End in 2015.
The theatrical opening, to be directed and co-written by Jamie Lloyd, will open in the capital 30 years after the film first hit cinema screens.
Back To The Future, which took $360.6 million at the box office worldwide, tells the story of Marty McFly, a schoolboy wannabe musician in 1980s America whose friendship with mad scientist Dr Emmett Brown finds him transported back in time to 1955. His actions in the past have a disturbing effect on his future parents, and so his entire existence. It’s a race against time to set the past straight and get back to the future.
The film’s writer and director Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, who are also co-writing the stage adaptation, have been working on the idea for almost 10 years but hadn’t met the right team to bring it to the stage until finding Lloyd and producer Colin Ingram.
Ingram has history in transferring hit films to the West End, having previously worked the same trick on big screen romance Ghost, which saw Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy take on the roles made famous by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.
For Back To The Future, Ingram and Lloyd have to find a new star to step into the iconic sneakers and gilet made famous by a young Michael J Fox as Back To The Future’s leading man Marty McFly.
Ingram has brought a collection of Ghost The Musical’s creative team with him for the new production. Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Glen Ballard will add original music to the songs already intrinsically linked to the story, which include Huey Lewis And The News’ The Power Of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Mr Sandman. He will work with Alan Silvestri, who wrote the film’s score. Illusionist Paul Kieve has also signed up for the project and has probably already started to work on how to make an actor’s hand begin to disappear as he plays a guitar live on stage.
In possibly a first for any West End musical, Andrew Willis has joined the creative team as Skateboard Consultant.
Lloyd, who is currently rehearsing the London premiere of hit US musical Urinetown The Musical, takes regular collaborator Soutra Gilmour onto the project as designer.
Speaking about the project, Lloyd said: “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.”
No venue for the production has been announced.