Seven years have passed since we first got word of this particular stage musical, but what’s a little time when your name is Back to the Future and you’ve got a certain DeLorean at your disposal? For fans of the time-traveling trilogy, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, Back to the Future: The Musical will be making its debut in England next February and, unless someone screws with the space-time continuum, it should also arrive stateside at some point.
The plot of the musical — like most films that make the leap to the Broadway stage — is pretty much the movie’s: Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by Dr. Emmett Brown. Before he can return to 1985, though, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order for them to actually have him. The role of Marty will be played by Olly Dobson, whose previous West End credits include the original cast of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical and Matilda. Further casting will be announced soon.
The new musical will have a book by Bob Gale (who co-wrote the film trilogy with director Robert Zemeckis), and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri (whose most recent work is in Avengers: Endgame) and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode.” The show will be directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown, On the Town), alongside the Tony- and Olivier-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Hugh Vanstone (lighting), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, illusions by Paul Kieve and musical supervision and vocal arrangements by Nick Finlow. Orchestrations will be by Ethan Popp, with dance arrangements by David Chase.
Producer Colin Ingram said, “This show has been six years in the making and we are delighted to be showing it to the people of Manchester first before the rest of the world gets to see it. As I did with Ghost – The Musical, Manchester gets it first, so synchronize your watches because, when this musical hits 88 mph, you’re going to see some serious … entertainment!”
All members of the original cast of the film are reportedly excited about this new musical version. Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc Brown, said, “Ever since Bob Gale told me about this, I’ve been eagerly anticipating it and, in particular, wondering what it will be like to hear Doc Brown sing. So I’m really looking forward to attending the opening in Manchester to experience our wonderful movie as a musical. I’m only sorry I don’t have a real time machine so that I could see it tomorrow!”
Bob Gale notes, “Bob Zemeckis and I have been trying to get this project off the ground for years, but good things take time and, finally, the time is right. Our cast is outstanding, the songs are fantastic, and director John Rando is doing an amazing job ensuring the show truly captures the magic of the movie. We’re thrilled that we can retell our story on stage in a brand-new way, and we’re certain that Back to the Future fans all over the world will share our enthusiasm. In the words of Marty McFly, ‘your kids are gonna love it’ — and so will you and your parents. There’s truly no better way to celebrate the movie’s 35th anniversary, and we’re happy to say ‘The Future’ is coming back!”
Back to the Future: The Musical opens at the U.K.’s Manchester Opera House on February 20, 2020 for a 12-week season, concluding on May 17. At that point it will move to the West End.
Be sure to check out and subscribe to our Classic TV & Film Podcast for interviews with your favorite stars!