We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy (2015) – Caseen Gaines


As soon as I heard this book was coming out, I jumped at the chance to pick mine up. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love Back to the Future, and Michael J. Fox has long been one of my heroes. Heck, I was even lucky enough to get to pose with a time machine, I mean DeLorean three years ago at one of the first cons we covered as media (and though I am including the picture in the post, I’d love a new one, as I don’t think I look much like that guy anymore)! These three films have become touchstones of my youth, Marty (Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) have become life long friends, like they have for so many others, and I remember where I was for each and every one of their cinematic adventures.

So while I was a little let down by the size of the book, only about 250 odd pages covering the making of all three films, I was eager to dig in and recapture the love and excitement that happens to me anytime I hear the opening strains to Alan Silvestri’s score, or either one of Huey Lewis’ hits from the first film, Power of Love and Back in Time.

Now, while the book didn’t truly share anything I hadn’t known or heard before, it did put all of it in one place, and I sat there grinning to myself as Gaines took us back to the year, 1985…

The book talks about the original casting of Eric Stoltz, and his replacement by Michael J. Fox, who was blossoming to fame on Family Ties, the shopping around of the script to all the major studios, all of whom passed on it, to finally getting it made when Spielberg and his Amblin team came on to serve as executive producers. We go behind the scenes for casting, costume, and model design, even checking in on Drew Struzan as he chats about creating the now iconic poster, and it’s sequels.


There is the infamous hoverboard accident on set that resulted in the terrible injury of a stunt woman, as well as the sly joke director Robert Zemeckis pulled on the public by implying hoverboards were real, sending children of all ages in to a tizzy to find one, and countless letters from parents asking for help in tracking them down. The Crispin Glover debacle is revealed, from both sides, and there’s the public response to the darker film, the stunned realization that II and III could have one big massive film before it was split into two equal parts.

From there we double back to the old west, to a much more straight forward story that ties up loose ends, let’s Doc be the hero, and changes Marty’s density, I mean… destiny.

Working with interviews from almost all the major players, Fox is noticeably absent, Gaines takes us back in time, and fans the flames of love that I’ve had for this film even higher… Now I’m just trying to find time in my schedule to watch all three for the umpteenth time… If only I had a time machine…

This one is a MUST for any fan of the film!








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