Bob Gale (Writer / Producer)

Bob Gale

When the executives at Universal Pictures asked the filmmakers of "Back to the Future" if they would be interested in doing a sequel, producer/writer Bob Gale recalls, "We figured it had been a lot of fun making the first one, so why not? Shortly after we agreed, there came the moment wherein we realized that we had to write the script, and had no idea of what it was going to be."

Luckily for Gale and director Robert Zemeckis, the two had unwittingly given themselves a starting point when they ended the first film. "In reality," says Gale, "it was the audience that dictated where we started the sequel. We received thousands of letters asking what happens to Marty and Doc in the future, and we knew we had to be faithful to the faithful. Millions of people had seen the film, and those letters had posed many interesting questions. A lot of kids want to know what happened to Doc's dog, Einstein. When Doc drops Marty at home at the end of 'Back to the Future,' Einstein is with them, but when Doc returns from the future to get Marty, the dog isn't with him. We always figured that Doc had left him in the future, but the kids wanted to know, so we made sure we covered that."

In making the determination of what trials and tribulations Marty and Doc would go through in the future, Gale found his foundation firmly rooted in the present. "So many science-fiction stories take the point that the future's a depressing place, but I'd like to think it's going to be a mixture of good and bad, much like today. We took the point of view that people are the same. The problems that people have dealing with their parents and dealing with love are always the same. That's why Shakespeare's plays still hold up today. He was writing about basic human problems and emotions. The only thing that changes is technology."

After he and Zemeckis fleshed out the storyline, Gale went to work on the screenplay, and found an added benefit of returning to write the sequel. "Writing this film was a great deal of fun because I already knew all of the actors, what they could do, and what their characters would or wouldn't say. I was able to hear the film as I wrote it."

Gale was born and raised in University City, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After a semester at the engineering school at Tulane University, he realized that his ambitions leaned towards creative arts, particularly in writing motion pictures. Transfering to the USC Cinema School, Gale met Robert Zemeckis. As Gale aspired to write, and Zemeckis to direct, the two were drawn to each other by a respect for each other's creative talents and similar cinematic tastes.

They decided to combine those talents, and upon graduation in 1973, began to collaborate on screenplays for Zemeckis to direct. Zemeckis made his directorial debut on "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," which he co-wrote with Gale, with Gale also assuming the role of associate producer of the feature. They followed with the screenplay of "Used Cars," which again found Zemeckis in the director's chair, while Gale served as the film's producer. While Zemeckis was off directing "Romancing the Stone," Gale wrote and produced a television pilot based on "Used Cars." In 1984, the two reteamed for "Back to the Future," which they had begun writing four years earlier. Following the completion of "Back to the Future Part III," Gale plans to "try my hand at directing and see how that works out."

as of October 24, 1989

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