Bob Gale

Michael Robert Gale (born May 25, 1951) is an American screenwriter, comic book writer, film producer and director. He is best known for co-writing the science fiction comedy film Back to the Future with his writing partner Robert Zemeckis. Gale co-produced all three films of the franchise and later served as associate producer of the animated TV series. Actor Michael J. Fox has referred to Gale as the « gatekeeper of the [Back to the Future] franchise ».[1]

Early life

Gale was born to a Jewish family[2] in University City, Missouri; he is the son of Maxine (née Kippel and died in 2010),[3] an art dealer and violinist, and Mark R. Gale (1922–2018),[4] an attorney. Mark Gale was a World War II veteran and later a University City councilman.[5] Bob Gale has two younger brothers, Charlie, who wrote the screenplay for Ernest Scared Stupid,[6] and Randy. Bob Gale received a B.A. in Cinema in 1973 from the University of Southern California, where he wrote fanzine reviews for classmate Mike Glyer‘s fanzine, and met Zemeckis, who was his classmate.[citation needed]

As a child, Gale dreamed he would one day « go to Hollywood and work for Walt Disney« , who was his hero.[7] As a teen, he created his own comic book, The Green Vomit, using spirit duplication; he was the co-founder of a popular comic book club in St. Louis. Later he and his brother Charlie made their own amateur three-film series parody of the Republic Pictures Commando Cody serials, using the character name « Commando Cus« .[citation needed] The last two films were made in collaboration with Richard Rosenberg.[who?] (Rosenberg had taken over the series with the third, 1973’s Commando Cus vs. Kung Fu Killers, in which Gale made a cameo appearance as the title character without his face-covering helmet, and was working on a fourth at the time of his death.)[citation needed]



As screenwriters Gale and Zemeckis have collaborated on a number of films including 1941, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Used Cars, and Trespass. The last one was set in East St. Louis, Illinois near Gale’s home town. Gale and Zemeckis were nominated for an Academy Award for their screenplay for Back to the Future. In 2002, Gale made his debut as a feature-film director with Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road. He had previously directed and written the 20-minute theatrical release Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie. Gale’s other work includes the novelization for his movie 1941 and he helped develop the unreleased arcade game Tattoo Assassins.[citation needed]

Gale, formerly a member of Writers Guild of America West, left and maintained financial core status in 1990.[8]

On 31 January 2014, it was announced that a stage musical adaptation of the first Back to the Future film was in production.[9][10][11]


As a teenager, Bob Gale was a regular Marvel reader and his fan letter appeared in Iron Man #2, published in June 1968.

Gale began writing for comics in the late 90s, and his earliest work includes Ant-Man’s Big Christmas for Marvel and Batman for DC Comics. In 2001, he had a short run on Marvel’s Daredevil with artists Phil Winslade and Dave Ross. In 2008, Gale worked as one of the writers among the rotating writer/artist teams on The Amazing Spider-Man, which at the time was published three times a month. His other work in comics includes the Back to the Future monthly series published by IDW Publishing. The first issue was released in stores on October 21, 2015, which is the same date that Marty travels with Doc Brown to the future; the comic book is shown as part of the storyline for Part II.

Selected filmography


DC Comics

  • Batman:
    • The Batman Chronicles #10: « To See the Batman » (prose story with illustrations by Bill Sienkiewicz, anthology, 1997)
    • Batman: No Man’s Land Volume 1 (tpb, 544 pages, 2011,

      ISBN 1-4012-3228-0) and Batman: No Man’s Land Omnibus Volume 1 (hc, 1,136 pages, 2022, ISBN 1-77951-322-4) include:

Marvel Comics

IDW Publishing

  • Back to the Future (scripted by various writers from plots by Gale):
    • Back to the Future vol. 2 (written by John Barber and Erik Burnham (#1–5), art by various artists, 2015–2017) collected as:
    • Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #1–5 (written by Erik Burnham, drawn by Alan Robinson, 2016) collected as Back to the Future: Citizen Brown (tpb, 120 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-63140-793-7)
    • Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #1–6 (written by Derek Fridolfs, drawn by Alan Robinson, 2017) collected as Back to the Future: Biff to the Future (tpb, 148 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-6314-0974-3)
    • Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train #1–6 (written by John Barber, drawn by Megan Levens, 2017–2018) collected as Back to the Future: Tales from the Time Train (tpb, 152 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-6840-5313-7)

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