The script remained under Columbia's shelf until legal issues forced them to withdraw. The studio was set to begin shooting a comedic send-up of Double Indemnity entitled Big Trouble . Columbia's legal department determined that the film's plot was too similar to Double Indemnity and they needed the permission of Universal Pictures , owners of the earlier film, if the film was ever to begin shooting. With Big Trouble already set to go, desperate Columbia executives phoned Universal's Frank Price to get the necessary paperwork. Price was a former Columbia executive who had been quite fond of the script for Back to the Future during his tenure there. As a result, Universal agreed to trade the Double Indemnity license in exchange for the rights to Back to the Future . Thus, the film finally had a home at Universal.