The long rumored third installment of the Bill & Ted franchise has officially been confirmed. Bill & Ted Face the Music will reunite Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves three decades after the release of the original film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Original creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon have written the script, with Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2, Fun With Dick and Jane) set to direct.
The plot of the film is being described by The Hollywood Reporter as the following:
“Bill & Ted Face the Music will see the duo long past their days as time-traveling teenagers and now weighed down by middle age and the responsibilities of family. They’ve written thousands of tunes, but they have yet to write a good one, much less the greatest song ever written. With the fabric of time and space tearing around them, a visitor from the future warns our heroes that only their song can save life as we know it. Out of luck and fresh out of inspiration, Bill and Ted set out on a time travel adventure to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe. Together with the aid of their daughters, a new crop of historical figures and some sympathetic music legends, they find much, much more than just a song.”
In an interview with Collider, co-writer Solomon gave some further details about the story:
“Bill and Ted were told at 16 that they were going to be the greatest people who ever lived. That they were gonna write a song that is going to save the world, and it hasn’t happened. And now they are middle-aged men. They’ve got wives who used to be princesses in medieval England who are now working double shifts at Denny’s, they’ve got teenagers that are about to leave home, money is tight, and they’ve been chasing this dream, writing song after song, when somebody from the future shows up and says, “You have 24 hours. The fate of all of space/time depends on it – and if it doesn’t happen now, it’s never gonna happen.” Bill and Ted are confused because they know they had to have written it, because after all the people in the future told them they did.. so they just must not have written it yet. So in their desperation they decide their only option is to go into the future – to when the have written it – and to steal it from themselves. What follows is a kind of utterly absurd, Christmas Carol-like journey through their lives past, present, and future. Their daughters (Bill has a daughter named Thea, Ted’s daughter is named Billie) are also very involved in trying to help them.”
Solomon talked a bit about trying to make each film as unique as possible:
“?After we did the first movie and the financiers came to us and said can we do a second, the powers that be wanted to do a sequel that was like a rehash of the first movie. It basically was like, “Now Bill and Ted have to pass an English test, so now they go into fiction and books!” and we were like, “Um… okay… that sounds like the same old thing.” Neither Chris nor I wanted to do that, so we were like, “What if we kill them and send them to Hell and bring them back?” Well we’re trying to take the same approach here which is to say we’re not reshashing anything—although there’s time travel and some of our favorite people from the movies are in it—we’re trying to really go: it’s been 30 years. Let’s be real about the passage of time. We want to maintain the tone, the sweetness, the absurdity and we want it to be a movie that is not just for fans of the first movie but hopefully for people of any age who haven’t seen the movies. But most importantly, we want it to be something unique – something people haven’t seen before. Also, we think it’s really cool to take characters you last saw as teenagers and explore them again as middle aged men. What would that be like? That was one of the main draws for Chris and me.”
The film’s stars and creators have been trying to get the threequel made for some time now. Back in 2015, Alex Winter stated that they were “close,” and just over a year ago, Reeves stated “Bill & Ted 3 is right now stuck in showbusiness land so creatively we’re good to go but in the business sense, the rights and all of the complications and contracts that need to be made are not.”
In a Tweet earlier this year, Solomon hinted that The Grim Reaper (William Sadler ), who played a significant part in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, will have a role in the third film, Tweeting ““Bill CRUSHED it as Death. And we laughed a lot writing him in BT3 – so let’s hope it’s something that happens.”
The loss of George Carlin will not only be addressed, but will be a focus of the film. Solomon discussed how Rufus will still play a role in the film in an interview with Digital Spy earlier this year:
“There’s actually a scene – one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie – where middle-aged, 50-year-old Bill and Ted return to the Circle K and see their teen selves and Rufus, and actually interact with their teenage selves, played by their actual teenage selves. They return to that scene at the Circle K when Bill and Ted first meet themselves, only now they’re watching their younger selves and looking at the exuberance and joy that they had at that time in their lives. And they see Rufus, they see George Carlin…There’s also a character in the movie named Kelly, which is George’s daughter’s name, who has a very significant role in the journey, so George is a deep, deep part of it.”
The Bill and Ted franchise consisted not only of the two films, but also an animated series, with Reeves, Winter and Carlin providing the voices for the first season, a live-action TV series starring Evan Richards, Christopher Kennedy and Rick Overton (who voiced the animated series in its second season), and a series of comic books.
Bill & Ted Face the Music will be distributed by MGM’s Orion Pictures banner and currently has no production time-table.