Summary: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the wildly successful and beloved Back to the Future trilogy, just in time for the 30th anniversary

Long before Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled through time in a flying DeLorean, director Robert Zemeckis, and his friend and writing partner Bob Gale, worked tirelessly to break into the industry with a hit. During their journey to realize their dream, they encountered unprecedented challenges and regularly took the difficult way out.

For the first time ever, the story of how these two young filmmakers struck lightning is being told by those who witnessed it. We Don’t Need Roads includes original interviews with Zemeckis, Gale, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Huey Lewis, and over fifty others who contributed to one of the most popular and profitable film trilogies of all time.

With a focus not only on the movies, but also the lasting impact of the franchise and its fandom, We Don’t Need Roads is the ultimate read for anyone who has ever wanted to ride a Hoverboard, hang from the top of a clock tower, travel through the space-time continuum, or find out what really happened to Eric Stoltz after the first six weeks of filming. So, why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here – and start reading! We Don’t Need Roads is your density.

Review: Having been a huge fan of Back To The Future (and to a lesser extent the sequels), I was delighted when this book was announced. Finally an in-depth look at the behind the scenes making of one of the most beloved films of all time and no better author than Caseen Gaines to do the job. Having written Inside Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon and A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, he is no stranger to digging deep and pulling back the curtain on perennial favorites.

In an entertaining and detailed style, Gaines shares how Zemeckis and Gale followed their passion for the Back To The Future project and manufactured to make it happen, with help from Steven Spielberg, and eventually securing  their right leading man, Michael J. Fox.

First person interviews reveal a host of little known facts:

  • Johnny Depp, John Cusack, George Newbern and Charlie Sheen were among the up and coming stars who read for the role of Marty McFly
  • Universal’s Sid Sheinberg is rumored to have disliked the title Back To The Future and wanted to call it “Spaceman from Pluto”
  • At the rough-edit screening starring the first Marty, Eric Stoltz, Zemeckis admitted “there’s a hole in the middle of our screen. The lead actor doesn’t work.”

and tons more.

In what is essentially a resource book, Gaines delivers his facts through the voices of the many people he interviewed and presents all sides when their memories and recollections if facts differ. After all, it has been 30 years. Rarely does he inject his on voice (although he does opine as to why Chuck Berry was at first reluctant to allow ‘Johnny B. Goode’ to be used during the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance scene), but provides us with a narrative that makes the reader feel he is as excited as we are to be given this behind the scenes look at the minutia of all facets of the trilogies production.

Overall, We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy is a fantastic read. If you are a fan of the films or just a movie buff in general, it is a book that showcases the highs and the lows of the Back To The Future legacy, the key players, the music and it’s cultural impact that continues so many years later.

Now, where is my hoverboard?


Author: Caseen Gaines
Publisher: Plume/Penguin Publishing Group
Format: Softcover
Size: 5.26 x 8.01 x 0.64 inches
Photos: Color
List Price: $17.00

About the Author

Alex Paul

I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to love him…