It's official: 2020 is one of the most miserable years on record. However, redemption is coming in the form of an ageing pair of doofus rockers known as Bill and Ted.
For the first time since 1991, the loveable goofballs, played by Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, are returning to our screens. Series threequel Bill & Face the Music picks up the thread of Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey, reuniting us with the Wyld Stallyns frontmen. However, things have changed slightly. Both Bill and Ted are older (obviously), and each of them now has a daughter. That results in a cross-generational quest to save the universe, which can only be done via the means of writing the ultimate rock song.
While Bill and Ted attempt to steal inspiration from their future selves (the familiar time-travelling phone box is present and correct), the daughters (played by Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) venture back into the past. This involves corralling various talented musicians from across the historical spectrum. Already, we love the concept, which has been brought to the screen by director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) and original Bill & Ted screenwriters Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson.
The joyousness was apparent from Reeves' reaction during the [email protected] panel for the movie. He was joined by Winter and said the long-gestating threequel was a dream come true: "I can't feel, or laugh, or do anything like the way that working on Bill and Ted does, and working with Alex. That doesn't exist anywhere else in the world for me. To partner up and work on the craft side, and then get to play."
For those of us now accustomed to Reeves's stoicism in The Matrix and John Wick movies, the return to Bill & Ted-flavoured goofiness will no doubt come as a bit of a shock. Winter recalls the moment where he and Reeves got back into character for the first time in decades: "About halfway, we're shooting one of the versions of ourselves, I remember we got into these rocker characters and we just went off. And I remember looking at him, and him looking at me, and thinking Bill and Ted are back."
Winter says the idea for Face the Music was born out of long-developing conversations with Solomon and Matheson. In particular, they looked towards the redemptive power of a Victorian-era master to infuse fresh life into the Bill & Ted concept.
"It was some years ago, at least 10 years ago," Winter recalls, "we were all having dinner with Chris and Ed and they posed quite similarly a good idea as the Bill and Ted go to hell idea. And they laid out this very summer-y version of Charles Dickens, of going back to each version of your life. None of us even thought of embarking on a journey to do a third... unless it was really great and we could somehow hold onto the magic of the creativity well enough that it maintained the integrity of the initial idea."