Broadway shows are hugely expensive propositions, and more and more producers are hedging their bets with high profile stage adaptations of beloved films. In the next couple of months alone we’re getting Broadway musical versions of “Newsies” and “Ghost,” and in the past few years we’ve seen everything from “Catch Me If You Can” to “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” make it to the great white way. They’re even launching an off-Broadway revival of the infamously doomed “Carrie” musical. Now comes word from Deadline that none other than “Back to the Future” might be coming back… but this time, to Broadway. That’s right — Marty, Doc Brown, and all your favorites will be back! And singing!
According to the report, original trilogy director Robert Zemeckis is talking with Bob Gale, his former writing partner, about writing the book, and is already in discussions with original composer Alan Silvestri to come up with the score. Would it be too much to ask to have somebody get in touch with Huey Lewis and have him write some new songs to go along with the already-classic “Back in Time” and “Power of Love?” We’re pretty sure Huey isn’t that busy.
This is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. Firstly — a “Back to the Future” musical?!? Count us in! Imagine the ridiculously glittery Broadway effects for the DeLorean zapping back in time, and the 1955 sets, and, well, if we think about it too hard we’ll probably have a joy aneurysm (yes, those exist). Secondly, it’s worth giving attention to the fact that Zemeckis and Gale haven’t worked together since 1996’s “Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood,” although from what we understand, their “story” credit was from an idea devised much earlier, sometime during the HBO series’ initial run. Gale and Zemeckis were, at one point, one of the hottest screenwriting duos in Hollywood, and their split has always been something of a mystery. If they have reconciled and are working together again, maybe a new big screen project is just around the corner?
In related Zemeckis news, we spoke to Denzel Washington last weekend while he was on the rounds for his new jittery action movie “Safe House,” and we had to ask him about his upcoming movie with Zemeckis, “Flight,” which sounds like an evil version of the Miracle On The Hudson story. Washington plays a pilot who pulls off a miraculous landing (unlike in the real situation, though, Washington told us in the movie six people are killed), but is still dealing with his alcoholism and substance abuse. Washington said the movie is an incredibly personal project for Zemeckis, who has been in AA for the past 14 years, although the way he described the plane crash sounds like there will be plenty of Zemeckis’ trademark visual derring-do on display as well. “Flight,” when released next year, will be Zemeckis’ first live-action movie in over a decade. Yowza.
While the Deadline report doesn’t have a timeline for the “Back to the Future” musical, it does indicate that if it goes forward Zemeckis’ production company, ImageMovers, would be involved. Chances are though it’ll hit Broadway before we ever get to see “Book of Mormon.”