Since its release back in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure has become a 1980s classic. The campy adventures of surfer-tongued rocker goofballs Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and “Ted” Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) left an indelible mark on pop culture, spawning a sequel and a short lived cartoon show, as well as launching the careers of its stars. However, after 1991’s Bogus Journey, the excellence went on a long term hiatus.
After a couple of false starts, including a 2012 script (with an attached director) and a 2014 Keanu Reeves-based discussion about an updated version of the characters, Bill & Ted fans were still left in wondering what comes next. Last year, Alex Winter was upbeat about Bill & Ted 3 while promoting his Deep Web documentary, but there hasn’t been much forward momentum since then.
Now, Keanu Reeves returns with a mixed bag update about the possibility of a totally excellent reunion. Speaking with IGN, he admitted that the long-awaited sequel is still somewhat in a holding pattern. However he was hopeful, explaining that the script was moving forward, with studio involvement, but Bill & Ted 3 wouldn’t come to fruition until everything felt right with the script. Reeves explains:
“We’re just trying to get the script together. We’re trying to get the story right. We’re working with this studio so we have a little bit of support, in a sense of like if the material comes through we’ll try and make this picture. We’re really just still trying to get the story right.”
The actor does seem excited about a return to San Dimas, though. The concept at this point seems centered on the aging rockers of Wyld Stallyns as they fight through writers block in order to realize their potential as the “Two Great Ones.” Reeves does admit that the most important part of the script is “the actualisation of that concept,” essentially fleshing out the reason for their songwriting troubles and who or what prevents them from realizing their destiny to bring universal peace – as promised by the first film’s futuristic vision. And for that reason, Reeves still assesses the film as “closer and not closer. We’re expecting another draft and hopefully we’ll get closer.”
Reeves’ words come as both good and bad news for Bill & Ted buffs eager for signs of forward progress on the film. Although the script – at one point being developed by original and sequel scribes Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon – is still being tweaked, the idea of studio involvement lends more weight to the film moving into production when the script is finalized. However, having a script both the cast and studio can get behind is extremely important for Bill & Ted 3. Investing all the time, effort, and money into a script that doesn’t shed new light on the characters, exude the feel of the original film yet suggest a progression in their lives, and justify a return to the series after nearly 30 years, would be a major disappointment to fans.
Although a purely nostalgic return to Bill & Ted land would be fun, it could also be interesting to see how the characters have matured since their Bogus Journey. The series already winked through the fourth-wall at times. An update encompassing a meta-comedy element revolving around the search for a world-saving song – especially since it mirrors to a degree the search for an ideal Bill & Ted 3 script – could be one way of exploring the series and its impact on our culture.
Bill & Ted 3 is currently in development. We’ll bring you more information as it becomes available.