Rumours of a third Bill & Ted movie have been rife pretty much since the duo completed their 1991 Bogus Journey. Both Alex Winter (Bill) and Keanu Reeves (Ted) have been asked numerous times to comment on said rumours, and both continually say similar things along the lines of there being a script somewhere and people on board. So what has been the hold up for the past 27 years?
In a new interview with Digital Spy, writer Ed Solomon (co-creator of Bill & Ted, along with Chris Matheson) revealed the title of the third installment of the cult franchise and that it has been in pre-production for the past 10 years. Solomon explained that Bill & Ted Face the Music is something he, Matheson, Winter and Reeves all wanted to be a part of, despite the idea of continuing with the same characters, only older, was a major reason they could not procure financing. “…what we get all the time – all the time – is people wanting to reboot it,” Solomon is quoted as saying. Rather than revisit the teenagers, the writers and lead actors are more interested in a “story about their lives and where they are now – their families, their kids…” Of course this’ll be referring to not just the boys (now men) themselves, but their “babes”, the English princesses Joanna and Elizabeth, and Little Bill and Little Ted, their sons (perhaps with more children too). Another issue is, will it make money? Will it have an audience?
“But it’s one of those movies that has grown over time,” Solomon continues. Just like a lot of the music genres that are used and the bands that are mentioned in both Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, the movies have grown over time. Fans who were kids or teenagers around the release of the two movies have eagerly passed down their fanaticism to new generations, and continue to build on the popularity. This is keenly expressed in the fact anyone connected with the original movies has been asked countless times about a third movie for 27 years. Not to mention the awesomeness that was the 1990 animation Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, which ran in syndication well into the 90s.
And what of the arguably just as important character of Rufus? With the death of actor George Carlin in 2008 the film will be left with a huge gap to fill. Rather than replace him (if they were going to do that then they may as well just reboot the whole thing) Solomon has said that Carlin’s “absence is a part of the whole movie,” which is a wonderful way to pay tribute not only to one of the best father-figure characters to ever grace a movie, but also to Carlin himself, a truly fine actor. Using footage from the previous movies, they have found a way to keep Rufus and Carlin’s memory alive.
As a huge fan of the Bill & Ted movies, I’m completely on board with keeping Winter and Reeves and am fully against a reboot. But I’m also sceptical as to how the characters will come across as middle-aged family men. Part of the charm of Bill & Ted was their teenage attitudes and sometime dimwittedness. Saying that, at the end of Bogus Journey, upon their quick return after taking time out to become guitar experts and fathers, they came back seemingly a little wiser but without losing that charm. As of yet there is no release date, though the official IMDb page reveals Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2) is on board as director, so that’s promising. Hopefully this means no more decade-long delays. I’m sceptical, but I’m equally hopeful, and even a touch excited. And that is most triumphant.