Bill & Ted fans have been waiting decades to see Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter return to the roles that made both of them famous. As excited as they are to see Bill & Ted Face the Music, it begs a very big question. Didn’t Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) already save the universe with their music at the end of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey?
Showbiz Cheet Sheet spoke with the cast and creators of Bill & Ted Face the Music. We’ll have a lot more with them all week, but first screenwriter Ed Solomon, producer Scott Kroopf and Winter himself addressed the end of Bogus Journey. Bill & Ted Face the Music is in theaters and on VOD Aug. 28.
The creators of ‘Bill & Ted’ struggled with the beginning of ‘Face the Music’
Solomon created Bill and Ted with Chris Matheson. They wanted to write a third movie, but struggled with where to begin. It turns out, the montage of magazine covers at the end of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was not their idea.
“It honestly dogged us from the beginning, those end credits, partly because we didn’t write all those end credits,” Solomon said. “A lot of ‘em were just stuff the title company put in. If we had to refer to it as canon, we didn’t want to feel like we were tied to it since we didn’t write it in general.”
Likewise, Solomon authorized Bill and Ted comic books, but didn’t address those in Bill & Ted Face the Music either.
“I love Evan Dorkin’s work,” Solomon said. “He’s a brilliant comic book writer and stuff but I don’t consider that canon to the movie either. I kind of let Evan just go do whatever, ‘Do your own Bill and Ted stuff.’ That’s how I felt about the end stuff in Bogus Journey. Now we have to start a movie where literally they’re on the top of the world? What a horrible place as a storyteller to start a film. How do you do that?”
How ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ answers what happened after ‘Bogus Journey’
Bill & Ted Face the Music does acknowledge the Battle of the Bands that Wyld Stallyns won at the end of Bogus Journey. However, that wasn’t the song that united the universe, and they didn’t go to Mars either.
“What we decided to do is go look, we’re going to acknowledge that,” Solomon said. “We’re going to acknowledge that they had this giant moment but then we’re going to take it by the horns and we’re just going to use what we can use and get rid of what we can’t use. We get it. You saw those titles, we get it. They were a flash in the pan. It worked for a month or two and then began a rapid descent. That’s where we begin the story.”
Alex Winter calls the ‘Bogus Journey’ end titles a post credits sequence
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey came out in 1991. Back then, very few movies had scenes after the credits. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off did it, but this was pre-Marvel so there wasn’t a post-credits scene after every movie. Winter considers the montage of magazine covers to be a post-credits joke that doesn’t bear on Face the Music.
“That was honestly, I think fairly obvious to anyone, a post-credit sequence that was tacked onto the end of the movie with a song, and not part of the script or part of the story,” Winter said. “Kind of a fun thing to do for the end credits. So we didn’t want to be absurd about adhering to what some graphic designer had cooked up at three o’clock in the morning. But, we did want to be respectful of the general sense of what we felt the audience believed to have been our state of affairs at the end.”
‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ doesn’t contradict Rufus’s prophecy
It’s three movies and 30 years later. Still, Bill & Ted Face the Music still sticks with what Rufus (George Carlin) said at the beginning of Excellent Adventure. Wyld Stallyns music unites the universe.
“If you listen to the prophecy that George Carlin gives, it’s that their music will unite the world but it isn’t really too much more specific than that,” Kroopf said. “There’s a way to rationalize that ending as they had their 15 minutes of fame which was really fantastic and then it kind of waned and petered out a little bit. That’s what took us into Face the Music. I think it works from a story standpoint in terms of when you see Face the Music. It makes sense, the basic of it is all true to the canon.”
Plus, you don’t want to see a movie where Bill and Ted already succeeded, Solomon rationalized.
“The only way to start a Bill and Ted story if they really had saved the world would be they’re rich, they’re famous, they’re superstars and they’ve had a falling out and then they come back together,” Solomon said. “That’s just not Bill and Ted. They would have never had a falling out. It’s boring to see them as big and famous, in my opinion.”