Producer Neil Canton was brought into the original "Back to the Future" through his association with executive producer Frank Marshall. Canton had just produced "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai," and was contacted by Marshall, who was looking for someone to produce a new film to be directed by Robert Zemeckis. Canton had a number of projects in development at the time, but none with an imminent start date pending. After a brief meeting with Zemeckis, the director suggested that Canton read the script to "Back to the Future" and meet his partner Bob Gale. From that point on "...it it just felt like a very natural relationship that I had always been a part of," recalls Canton.
In addition to his production expertise, Canton made another invaluable contribution to the shaping of "Back to the Future." While reading the script, the producer had no doubts that the role of Doc Brown should be played by an actor with whom he had just finished working in "Buckaroo Banzai" -- Christopher Lloyd.
Canton admits that the terms upon which everyone agreed to do a sequel to "Back to the Future" were simple. "Everyone had to come back. Bob Zemeckis had to direct, Bob Gale had to write the script, and Michael and Chris had to return as Marty and Doc. If all those elements weren't in place, no one would have been interested in trying to compensate for those who didn't come back. It wouldn't have been 'Back to the Future."'
Born and raised in New York City, Canton graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. It was in his capacity as assistant to director Peter Bogdanovich in "What's Up Doc?" where Canton first met Frank Marshall, who served as location manager on the film. Canton and Marshall continued with Bogdanovich in various positions on films such as "Paper Moon," "Nickelodeon" and "At Long Last Love." Both men spent two years on Orson Welles' production of "The Other Side of the Wind," as well as working with Walter Hill on "The Warriors."
In addition to producing "Buckaroo Banzai," which has since become a cult favorite, Canton served as producer of the hit comedy "The Witches of Eastwick." He and Bob Gale will continue with the adventures of Marty and Doc as the producers of "Back to the Future Part III."
as of October 24, 1989