Bill & Ted Face the Music Story Originated with an Idea Keanu Reeves Had at a BBQ
by Neeraj Chand
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are gearing up to return to the silver screen as Bill and Ted after 25 years in Bill & Ted Face the Music. The road to getting the film made was a long and difficult one. As writer Ed Solomon revealed to Collider, it was Reeves who supplied the core premise for what the third movie in the Bill and Ted franchise should be about, during a meetup between himself, Solomon, Winter, and co-writer Chris Matheson.
"[Alex] called Keanu and we went to Alex's for BBQ, the four of us, and we just started talking like, 'Is [a third movie] worth it?' and 'What would make it worth it?' and 'What do we definitely not want to do?' First of all we don't want to make it cynical. It was more like, 'Is there a story worth telling that we really wanna tell that makes it worth doing again?' This was like 12 years ago. We started talking, 'Well what would it be about?' and I'm pretty sure in that meeting Keanu said something like, 'The stress, the pressure of having been told your music's gonna save the world and what that must actually feel like, and maybe relieving that pressure'."
That central idea stayed in the script for the movie through every subsequent rewrite and reworking of the plot. As the trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music has shown, the two radtastic leads are now middle-aged parents with families, but have still not written their prophesied song that was supposed to save all of existence. The deadline for completing the song is fast approaching, prompting Bill and Ted to embark on another hair-raising adventure through time and space, this time with their daughters at their side, as they race to finish the song and save the day.
The Bill and Ted franchise was built not so much on the story as the magical chemistry between Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, and the good-natured best friends the two portrayed onscreen. As Winter explained, it took only a few days of filming during the first week for the two to get their old groove back and sparks to fly.
"It wasn't really a question of whether we could find the characters - I think we knew we could find them - it was more like no matter how much acting prep you do or no matter what, the moment you get on set it's like, 'Is this gonna work?' But I think in the first week we all felt it was working. I know Keanu and I felt it was working, just riffing off each other."
Directed by Dean Parisot and written by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, Bill & Ted Face the Music stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Anthony Carrigan, Kid Cudi, Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving. The film arrives in theaters and on premium video on demand Aug. 28. This story originated at Collider.