Back to the Future

George Gipe,
based on screenplay by
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale




Berkley Books

Publish date






Back to the Future was the novelization tie-in to the movie Back to the Future written by George Gipe. It was adapted into Back to the Future: The Story.

Differences between novel and movie[]

There were several differences from the movie, with new scenes shown and others in the movie not shown:

  • Marty McFly is called by Dr. Emmett Brown at school about the test.
  • Marty is trapped in detention with Mr. Strickland and devises a plan to escape to catch his band's audition. After Strickland destroys his Sony Walkman in a woodworking vise, Marty grabs a lens from a projector. Marty applies some gum to the back of a matchbook and shoots it up to a smoke alarm on the ceiling. He then focuses sunlight through the lens at the matchbook but is forced to hurry before Strickland closes all the blinds. Marty succeeds in igniting the matchbook and setting off the fire alarm and sprinkler system, escaping out the door to the audition. This was supposed to be in the film, but was only filmed with Eric Stoltz as Marty and not Michael J. Fox.
  • When Marty arrives at Lyon Estates in 1955, instead of hiding the DeLorean behind a sign, there is a model home that will become the McFly residence in the future, and he uses his 1985 key to open the garage and hide the DeLorean time machine inside.
  • When Marty tries to convince 1955 Doc about the time machine, he waits until after dark, attends a movie (The Atomic Kid) at the Essex Theatre, and retrieves the DeLorean under cover of darkness, driving it up to Doc's garage.
  • George McFly talks to his father Arthur McFly about college. Here we see that his father is just as pathetic as he is, talking George out of the idea.
  • Extended scenes of Marty dressed up as "Darth Vader".

There are also many minor differences between the movie and the book, for instance:

  • According to the book, a fat man disqualified Marty's band at the Battle of the BandsHuey Lewis, who played that role in the movie, was definitely not fat.
  • The telephone number that Jennifer wrote on the back of the flyer was 243-8480 in the book; in the movie, 555-4823.
  • According to the book, Sam Baines was sorry for hitting Marty with his car; in the movie, his reaction was anger.
  • According to the book, Doc angrily broke the brain-wave analyzer, once he realized it did not work; in the movie, he placed it on a desk and started examining it, until Marty persuaded him to forget about it and focus on the time machine.
  • According to the book, after drinking the chocolate milk at Lou's Cafe, George had a brown "mustache"; in the movie, he wiped his mouth clean before approaching Lorraine.

Cartoonist Ryan North would later recap the book in his Tumblr B to the F, which in turn would be turned into an eBook.

New continuity[]

Not fully seen, expressed or explicitly stated in the film.

New individuals[]

New historical figures[]

  • Muhammad Ali
  • Pat Boone
  • John Brodie
  • The Chordettes
  • Nat 'King' Cole
  • Joan Crawford
  • Jim Decker
  • Eddie Fisher
  • Jerome Kern
  • Rocky Marciano
  • Mitch Miller
  • Guy Mitchell
  • Eddie Page
  • Patti Page
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Alfred Steele
  • Jim Swink
  • Dorothey Towne
  • Jack Webb

New locations[]

New objects[]

New technology[]

  • 3-D movie
  • Bomb shelter
  • Hi-fidelity music
  • Instant coffee
  • Vaseline hair tonic
  • "World's smallest radio"

New organizations[]

New events[]

New media[]

Covers Gallery[]