There was a time when Bill & Ted 3 sounded more like a joke than an actual possibility, with Keanu Reeves pitching some wild (Excellent? Could resist...) ideas that included bringing Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog together to direct.
Everything (sorta) changed earlier this year, when reports emerged that a spec script penned by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon (the same guys behind Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bogus Adventure) was complete, and the project was simply waiting for an official greenlight. That situation hasn't changed, though Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) has now been attached to helm the time-traveling, dim-witted buddy duo's return to the big screen.
Vulture says Matheson and Solomon's Bill & Ted 3 screenplay takes an identical approach as the belated comedy sequels Clerks II and American Reunion - and the planned approach for Dumber and Dumber 2 - by catching up with the founders of Wild Stallyns in real-time. Does that mean Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted Theodore Logan (Reeves) are going to be spouting updated lingo from the 21st century - in a threequel titled Bill & Ted's WTF Adventure? Moving on...
Matheson and Solomon are selling Bill & Ted 3 as a relatively inexpensive comedy, along the lines of Hot Tub Time Machine ($36 million, for the record). MGM holds the franchise rights, but are looking around for a studio to co-finance the threequel before giving it a greenlight. That's the last remaining hurdle that Bill & Ted 3 has to overcome, seeing how Reeves and Winter are already committed to reprising their breakout roles (somewhere, Dan Aykroyd is probably wishing Ghostbusters 3 was so lucky).
The enduring popularity of the Bill & Ted franchise guarantees an audience for the threequel, even if it fails to recapture the, uh, magic of its predecessors (which, don't get me wrong, this writer is a fan of). We might have to wait a while for another significant update on the project, as Parisot is deep into pre-production on RED 2 and won't be available to direct Bill & Ted 3 until next year.
There's always a chance that Bill & Ted 3 will hit a snag in the meantime, and end up running in circles like Ghostbusters 3 - or, on the flip side, put momentarily on hold for everyone's schedule to clear up, as Jeff Daniels says is the case with Dumb and Dumber 2. Frankly, though, in this day and age, it's hard to say that any cash-grab Hollywood sequel is definitely down for the count.
We'll keep you updated on Bill & Ted 3 as the story develops.