It seems the third film in the Bill & Ted universe is shaping up to be most excellent, dudes.
Nearly 30 years after the franchise’s second film, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Bill & Ted Face the Music sees the comeback of our favorite time-traveling slackers. Starring the original pairing of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves (the internet’s boyfriend), the movie is slated for an Aug. 21, 2020 release. The original writers, Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, are returning to for the film, with Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) set to direct.
We’ve rounded up everything to know about the upcoming film and where we last left off with the San Dimas duo. So do your homework before watching, or as Bill would say, you might risk flunking most heinously come August.
Who’s in it?
It wouldn’t be the same without our iconic titular bros, so of course, Winter will return as William “Bill” S. Preston Esq., and Reeves is set to reprise the role of Theodore “Ted” Logan. Another familiar face coming back is William Sadler, who memorably played the Grim Reaper in the second movie.
The original role that may go uncast is Bill and Ted’s mentor Rufus, who was played by the late comedian George Carlin. In 2018, Ed Solomon said the third film will not only be an homage to the legendary comic, “his absence is part of the whole movie.”
Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical, The Glass Castle) have signed on to play Bill and Ted’s daughters. And adorably, it appears the dudes have named their children after each other, with Weaving playing Billie Logan, Ted’s daughter, and Lundy-Paine taking on the role of Bill’s daughter, Thea. As for their spouses, Glee alum Jayma Mays will play Princess Joanna, Bill’s wife, while Ted’s wife, Princess Elizabeth, will be portrayed by The Dangerous Book for Boys actress Erinn Hayes.
Amy Stoch and Hal Landon Jr. will reprise their original roles as Missy and Ted’s father, respectively. SNL star Beck Bennett will play Deacon Logan, Ted’s younger brother.
Kid Cudi was also announced as part of the cast, although his role is currently under wraps. Cudi is no stranger to the screen, having starred in projects like the action thriller Need for Speed and HBO’s How to Make It in America. Anthony Carrigan, a breakout star on HBO’s Barry, will play a character described as a “relentless adversary” of the protagonists.
In July, Jillian Bell, Holland Taylor and Kristen Schaal were also added to the film. The Brittany Runs a Marathon star will act as Dr. Taylor Wood, the families’ couples therapist. Taylor, who has starred In Legally Blonde and Two and a Half Men, will be playing the formidable role of “the most powerful person in the universe — the center of which is San Dimas, Calif., 700 years in the future.” Meanwhile, Schaal, whose credits include Bob’s Burgers and The Last Man on Earth, will portray Kelly, a messenger from the future.
What’s it about (and what does the title mean)?
The film’s official summary speaks of a visitor from the future who sends the duo on a quest “to save life as we know it and bring harmony to the universe” through their rock and roll music. Speaking to EW last year, Matheson said Face the Music finds our intrepid explorers still struggling to complete their life’s great work. At the end of the first film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, futuristic mentor Rufus told the teens that they would write music that would turn the world into a utopia.
“You’re told you’re gonna save the world,” Matheson said. “And now you’re 50 and you haven’t done it. Now they’re married, and it affects their marriages, and it affects their relationships with their kids, and it affects their everything.”
Where did the previous films leave off with Bill and Ted?
Excellent Adventure found teenage Bill and Ted traveling through time to ace their history report. During their travels, Bill and Ted meet two medieval princesses whom Rufus ends up rescuing as he knows they will become the guys’ wives and bandmates in the future. In Bogus Journey, the distant future shows that humanity has become a utopia thanks to Wyld Stallyns, the pair’s band. In present time, Bill and Ted also manage to become talented musicians and even take their act to Mars.
So it appears that the previous films set up Bill and Ted to bring harmony to the universe through their music one day, and Face the Music shows that they haven’t exactly lived up to the task yet. Now that they’re in their 50s and settled down, the dudes are running out of time to complete their quest.
How different will the third installment be from the first two movies?
Solomon teased to EW that the film is “like A Christmas Carol with Bill and Ted, looking at their lives, and really kind of rediscovering what they’re about.”
Winter has also said that Face the Music follows the previous films in its “independent spirit” and doesn’t feel like “some stale knockoff.”
“The whole trajectory of getting the next one-off the ground has been pretty much exactly like the experience of getting the original,” Winter said. “Going to every studio, and they’re like, ‘What the eff is this?’ It’s this kind of independent spirit, and the films have an anachronistic quality to them that’s a big part of what they are, fundamentally. I’m really happy that this one is the same. It doesn’t feel like some stale knockoff that a studio would have immediately gone, ‘Oh, this feels right. We have rebranded very successfully.’”
Why did it take so long to make the third film?
Funding was one of the main issues holding back the making of a third film, as Solomon said the team has been working toward the sequel for nearly a decade. Even back in 2010, Reeves said Matheson and Solomon were working on a script for a third installment. And it felt like every year since then, with new details emerging, we were inching closer to a movie that might never get made. Solomon said there were issues raising money for it, as Hollywood preferred a reboot to a straight sequel. He also added that financiers feared Face the Music wouldn’t see returns at the box office, because the original film didn’t have a giant release in the U.S., and wasn’t distributed internationally.
On top of that, Solomon said his team spent years tweaking the script, because they wanted to get it right. “This is not, ‘Hey let’s all cash-in on the Bill & Ted thing for money,'” he said. “All of us really want to give the people who love Bill & Ted, and people who haven’t even discovered Bill & Ted yet, a movie that is worthy of their affection.”
This article was originally published June 13, 2019, and most recently updated July 11, 2019.