Fans have been asking for another adventure with the time-traveling, death-defying, hard-rocking duo of William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq., and Ted “Theodore” Logan III — as played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively — ever since 1991’s Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. More than 25 years later, that film appears to be on its way to screens in 2020, where it’ll arrive under the title Bill and Ted Face the Music.
Here’s everything we know about Bill and Ted Face the Music so far.
Bill and Ted Face the Music screenwriter Ed Solomon has been a consistent source of peeks behind the camera during production on the film, and the latest update offers a look at the return of a fan-favorite character from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey: Death.
— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) September 3, 2019
An image posted to Twitter by Solomon features actor William Sadler as the pale avatar of death in the 1991 film and then again, behind the scenes, during production on Face the Music. If there’s one thing to glean from the photos, it’s that Death doesn’t appear to have aged very much over the last few decades.
It’s actually happening. After years of rumors, delays, and near-cancellations, principal photography has begun on Bill and Ted Face the Music — and the cast and crew seem very excited.
Solomon broke the news on Twitter the weekend before filming began, saying simply: “Monday. Crew call: 7:30. First shot: 9:00.” The official Bill and Ted Twitter account confirmed Solomon’s report the next day, posting: “We begin filming tomorrow [July 1], dude!”
Solomon went on to share some behind-the-scenes photos on social media once production started (and no, that’s not Reeves and Winter in the film’s first shot).
Party: on pic.twitter.com/ikum6Zowr3
— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) July 1, 2019
Thank you so much to the fans of this movie. We literally could not have gotten this to happen without you. pic.twitter.com/DOnFszRdTn
— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) July 1, 2019
The start of filming follows a flurry of last-minute casting announcements. According to Deadline, Jayma Mays (Glee) and Erinn Hayes (General Hospital) will be the latest actresses to play Bill and Ted‘s princesses (now, their wives), while Amy Stoch and Hal Landon Jr. will reprise their roles as Bill’s mom and Ted’s dad, respectively. Anthony Carrigan, who recently broke into the limelight as Barry‘s NoHo Hank, will play Face the Music‘s main villain.
Dude, those are our kids!
Bill and Ted will have some company on their next adventure, with actresses Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving playing each character’s daughter, respectively.
Meet the world's most excellent daughters! Bill's daughter, Thea Preston, played by @Sweaving, and Ted's daughter, Billie Logan, played by Brigette Lundy-Paine. Who’s ready to Face the Music?? ⚡️???? #BillAndTed pic.twitter.com/dl6GYzp4oG
— Bill & Ted 3 (@BillandTed3) June 5, 2019
The film’s official Twitter account posted a photo of the actresses juxtaposed with Winter and Reeves from the first Bill & Ted movie in order to showcase the similarities between the two generations of Wyld Stallyns.
Lundy-Paine (The Glass Castle) will portray Billie Logan (Ted’s daughter), while Weaving (The Babysitter) will play Thea Preston (Bill’s daughter).
Back on the road
Good news, dudes. After some uncertainty, it looks like Bill and Ted Face the Music is a go. In a video posted in March, Reeves and Winter confirmed that Face the Music will start filming in summer 2019, with a theatrical release scheduled for summer 2020.
The world is about to get a lot more excellent. Watch this special announcement from your two favorite dudes! 8.21.20 ????⚡️ pic.twitter.com/miOtBhinlC
— Bill & Ted 3 (@BillandTed3) March 20, 2019
Reeves and Winter won’t be the only Wyld Stallyns signing on for the reunion tour, either. The official Bill and Ted Twitter account confirmed that William Sadler, who portrayed the board-game playing Death in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, will slip back into his robes for the sequel.
So very bogus
Two months after the title was officially confirmed for Bill and Ted Face the Music and the project seemed like it was gaining momentum, the long-awaited sequel appeared to hit a speed bump. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, Reeves indicated the film’s future was in doubt due to issues with financing and rights, among other tricky elements.
“I don’t know if [Bill and Ted Face the Music] is a reality,” he said. “We’ve been trying for a long time to get that film made, and it still has its challenges. … Part of it is business stuff — financing, rights, deals. Nothing creatively.”
However, fans know Bill and Ted have cheated death in the past, and look like they’re going to do so again, now that Bill and Ted Face the Music is back on.
According to Comingsoon, Bill and Ted Face the Music officially entered pre-production in May 2018. MGM owns the rights to the film and will handle the U.S. release under the Orion Pictures banner. Meanwhile, Bloom Media began shopping the film internationally during the Cannes Film Festival.
A very excellent director
The film’s title was revealed in a March 2018 feature in Entertainment Weekly that reunited Winter and Reeves with screenwriters Chris Matheson and Solomon, who penned the first two films. According to Winter, the film has more than just a title, too.
“We went out and found a director,” revealed Winter. “Dean Parisot, who we love, did Galaxy Quest, which is a masterpiece.”
According to Solomon, Steven Soderbergh is currently attached as a producer on the film, along with original franchise producer Scott Kroopf. Talk of a potential third film dates back years, but after decades of uncertainty, the film finally seemed to be moving forward.
Adding to the sudden closer-than-ever feel of Bill and Ted Face the Music is the news that there is even some casting in the works beyond Winter and Reeves’ iconic slacker heroes. Solomon indicated that William Sadler, who played the Grim Reaper in Bogus Journey, will reprise the role for Face the Music.
“We are hoping to close a deal with some financiers,” Solomon said. “Hopefully within the next month or so, we’ll have news that will stick.”
The story, dude
More Movie News Roundups
As for the plot of the film, the quartet plans to explore Bill and Ted’s lives long after they were expected to save the world with their music, but never quite got around to it. Still struggling to create the musical masterpiece that will shape their lives and bring about peace, prosperity, and happiness for an entire world (and then some), Bill and Ted find themselves fearing what their inability to craft that ultimate song might mean for the future.
“You’re told you’re gonna save the world,” explained Matheson. “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.”
“Everybody’s a little older now,” added Reeves. “A little afraid.”
Updated on September 5, 2019: Added a behind-the-scenes photo of William Sadler from filming on the project.