Best known as co-creator of the wildly popular BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, award winning Screenwriter-Director-Producer BOB GALE is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema, where he met his frequent collaborator, Robert Zemeckis.
Even before graduation, Gale and Zemeckis set their sights on careers in Hollywood. Working without an agent, they sold several television scripts to Universal Studios, who offered them a seven-year contract as TV writers. But movies, not television shows, were their real love, and so they turned down the lucrative offer. Armed with student films and feature scripts, they caught the attention of, among others, Steven Spielberg and John Milius. Milius hired them to write 1941 (which Spielberg later directed) and thus began their professional motion picture careers.
The duo then wrote a script about Beatlemania in 1964; Spielberg loved it so much he signed on as Executive Producer so that Zemeckis could direct and Gale could produce. I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND was released by Universal in 1978 to outstanding reviews.
Again working with Spielberg and Milius, the "two Bobs" (as they were known) wrote, produced and directed the comedy USED CARS for Columbia in 1980. Starring Kurt Russell and Jack Warden, the tale of warring car dealers is now considered a cult comedy classic.
Immediately following the release of that comedy, they concocted BACK TO THE FUTURE, but there were four years of rejections before they were able to get it made. The award winning film grossed over $200M in the U.S. in 1985, making it the year's number one box office attraction, and the screenplay earned them Oscar nominations.
While Zemeckis directed WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, Gale wrote the two BACK TO THE FUTURE sequels which he produced back-to-back for director Zemeckis in 1989. The sequels were enormous hits, and to date the trilogy has grossed close to a billion dollars worldwide.
With Zemeckis choosing to take a break from writing, Gale continued writing screenplays for directors such as John McTiernan, Paul Verhoeven and Walter Hill, who directed the duo's screenplay TRESPASS, which Gale had rewritten. The film, starring Bill Paxton, Ice-T and Ice Cube was released by Universal in late 1992.
Gale began directing in the 90's, with an episode of HBO's TALES FROM THE CRYPT entitled "HOUSE OF HORROR," starring Kevin Dillon and Wil Wheaton.
Having always been interested in technology, Gale was one of the first Hollywood directors to get involved in creating videogames, and the result was the martial arts arcade game TATTOO ASSASSINS, released by Data East. With this pedigree, Gale was asked by Sony New Technologies to create, write and direct their first interactive movie using Interfilm's patented theatrical interactive system. Gale's MR. PAYBACK was released in 1995 in 35 specially equipped theaters. Despite the tremendous audience reaction, business problems between Sony and Interfilm put an end to this promising new format.
Gale then returned to writing theatrical screenplays, now with an intent to direct his own work...as well as doing various big budget studio rewrites. And just for fun, he began writing comic books for DC and Marvel. He was instrumental in creating 1999's smash hit yearlong "Batman" story arc, "No Man's Land," scripting five of those issues; a six-issue story arc he scripted for Marvel's "Daredevil" was published in summer 2001. In 2006, he was asked by Marvel to join the 'Spider-Man Brain Trust' and worked with Marvel editors and writers in guiding the direction for Marvel's flagship character through 2010. Gale wrote six issues of "The Amazing Spider-Man" in 2008 and wrote a ten-part "Spider-Man" digital comics series for Marvel.com in 2009-2010.
Gale's feature film directorial debut was INTERSTATE 60 for Fireworks Pictures which, after being well received on the film festival circuit, was released direct-to-DVD by Screen Media Films in 2003. The fantasy-adventure-comedy was also written and produced by Gale, and starred James Marsden (X-MEN) as a young man who takes a rather unusual road trip on a highway which doesn't exist on any map. The cast included Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Smart, Chris Cooper, and Ann-Margret, with Michael J. Fox and Kurt Russell in special guest appearances.
Since 1998, Gale has also worked for various law firms and studios as an Expert Witness in screenplay plagiarism lawsuits. Gale has served in this capacity in some two dozen matters.
Gale also served as consultant to Telltale Games for their 2011 BACK TO THE FUTURE computer/video game.
In 2013, Gale wrote RETRIBUTION HIGH — a dark, twisted, horrific tale of high school bullying. Subtitled "A Short Violent Novel of Bullying, Revenge, and the Hell known as High School," the novel is available in both standard and explicit editions exclusively via Amazon.com.
Gale is lives in Southern California with his wife. Currently, like everyone else in Hollywood, he is working on several screenplays, and hopes to direct at least one of them.
Additional Bob Gale Resources