It’s not quite the 63 years that lapsed between Bambi movies, but the wait for the third film in the Bill & Ted franchise has been a protracted one nonetheless at 27 years—and counting. Of course, time means nothing to the immortal Keanu Reeves, who co-starred in the series with Alex Winter, and who, despite all his world-saving roles since, is still quite committed to the Wyld Stallyns.
That’s good news for Ed Solomon, who co-created the characters with Chris Matheson, and recently spoke with Digital Spy about his planned trilogy capper which is definitely happening, he just has no idea when. But he offered up all kinds of interesting background on the film, including the title: Bill & Ted Face The Music. The movie will follow a middle-aged Bill and Ted, who are now “family men” (and presumably, princes). The two most excellent dudes will travel back in time to meet younger versions of themselves and their old buddy Rufus, who was played by the late George Carlin. It also sounds like interacting with their younger, more hopeful selves will have a profound effect on whatever kind of middle-aged guys Bill and Ted have become.
“There’s actually a scene—one of my favourite 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,” Solomon said. “George Carlin is so deeply missed by all of us. There is a... not just an homage to him, it’s more than that. His absence is a part of the whole movie.” Apparently, there will be a new character named Kelly (which is also the name of Carlin’s real-life daughter), who is Rufus’ daughter.
Solomon warns, “This is not, ‘Hey let’s all cash-in on the Bill & Ted thing for money’—this is the opposite.” They all “love these characters, they’ve been with us for our whole lives—Chris and me, and Alex and Keanu—and we wanted to visit them again as middle-aged men. We thought it would be really fun, and funny, and sweet.” To that end, Solomon & co. are insisting on making a sequel, not a reboot. “We are having issues raising money for it, getting it financed, because what we get all the time—all the time—is people wanting to reboot it” with a younger cast, although again, Reeves could probably play teenaged Ted again if he shaves.
What Solomon and Matheson want is “the story of Bill and Ted as middle-aged men, and [to] tell what we think could be a really funny, and actually really moving, story about their lives and where they are now.” They’re encountering difficulty with financing, since the original films, while cult classics, didn’t make much money in their first theatrical release. But they remain positive that their philosophy of being excellent to each other will get back out into the world soon.