Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Michael Klastorin with Randal Atamaniuk
Foreword by Michael J. Fox
Preface by Christopher Lloyd
Introduction by Bob Gale
Afterword by Robert Zemeckis
Harper Design | HarperCollins Publishers
Release date: October 20, 2015
This month marks the 30th anniversary of Back To The Future, the Robert Zemeckis-directed Steven Spielberg-produced film that went on to become one of the greatest and most beloved movies of our time, spawning two sequels that were equally enjoyed. In conjunction with this milestone, Insight Editions has released Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, a coffee table-sized full-cover hardcover packed with details about the film trilogy, highlighted with behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, storyboards, and a host of removable collectible-type items.
Though Back to the Future was an instant hit when Universal Pictures released it back in 1985, it was a long road from concept to screen for director/screenwriter Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale. Though the filmmakers had a great idea for a film about a time-travel, their initial draft of the script was rejected by over 40 movie studios. A tidbit like that is hard to believe today when we see how deeply rooted the film is in today’s pop culture, but The Ultimate Visual History reveals their lengthy struggle, which also included their multiple attempts to get Michael J. Fox, who was locked in at the time to his schedule on the popular TV sitcom Family Ties, as the lead.
With all the recent hoopla and hullabaloo surrounding the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, it’s easy to forget that the cinematic creative genius dynamic team of Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Steven Spielberg made some pretty adventurous films prior to it, films that in a way set the stage for this timeless classic.
There was Used Cars, the 1980 comedic quilt of craziness which starred Kurt Russell, and 1979’s notoriously panned 1941. But, before that was debut of the team and their glorious work with 1978’s I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The film — executive produced by Spielberg, and directed by Zemekis, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gale — was a love letter to not only The Beatles, but the American milieu and craziness that surrounded Beatlemania circa 1964, when the British foursome first landed on New York soil and played The Ed Sullivan Show.
“Wish I could go back to the beginning of the season… put some money on the Cubbies!”
This was the line that prompted Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) to buy Grays Sports Almanac in the future year 2015 at the beginning of Robert Zemeckis’ 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II. Marty’s plan is to use the book to gamble on the winners, and never lose…. of course anyone who has seen BTTF2 knows old Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) steals the book and gives it to his high school aged self causing the timeline to skew and Biff to become a Trump-esque villain. All of this begins back with the above quote. The Chicago Cubs have been Major League Baseball’s loveable losers for over a century. Their last World Series win came in 1908″¦ before World War I, while Roosevelt was President (Cough, Teddy), 5 years before the Income Tax, and twelve years before women had the vote!
All this swirls together magically this week, as if this week holds significance on a space-time continuum. Wednesday, October 21 is the date in BTTF2 when Marty goes to future 2015. In actual 2015, the date coincides with the Cubs playing Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets in Wrigley Field in Chi-Town. The funny thing is, screenwriter Bob Gale, a fan of the rival St. Louis Cardinals, picked the Cubs for the title victory in futuristic 2015, because what would shock Marty more than the impossible happening! For those using this as an omen of certain victory for the Cubs, BTTF2 said they’d beat Miami. In 1989, there was no baseball team in Florida. By 1993, there were two, with the Florida Marlins rechristening themselves the Miami Marlins in 2012.
In a movie world dominated by sequels and reboots and remakes, director Robert Zemeckis has made something very clear: you will not see his beloved 1985 time travel classic Back to the Future getting the remake treatment. At least not while he still lives and breathes.
Back in 1984, the contract signed by Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale with Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment included their right to deny any future sequels or other related movies. When asked whether he would ever agree to a remake by The Telegraph, Zemeckis replied “Oh, God no.”
When a classic film franchise’s prospects of returning to the big screen have forever dried up, its creators look for any remaining possibility of milking every last cent from the property’s dormant viability. So it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the 1985 sci-fi comedy blockbuster Back to the Future might be the latest beloved film of my youth to be resurrected as a Broadway musical.