Nowadays when one thinks of the roles played by actor Keanu Reeves, they would perhaps know him easily as the un-retired assassin “John Wick” in the self-titled films. Going further back they might recall him as the virtual reality-warping chosen One called Neo from the “Matrix” trilogy. Back in the 1980s however, he would be best remembered as Ted, Theodore Logan, one half of the most triumphant aspiring rock band the Wyld Stallyns (so spelled) whose music becomes the foundation of a future society. At least that is how 1989 comedy “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” its two TV spinoffs, and sequel “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” would tell it.
For years Keanu Reeves and his “Bill & Ted” co-star Alex Winter (playing Bill S. Preston, Esq.) have discussed and teased the production of a third movie in the franchise. It was not until earlier this year that the promised film, “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” was announced. Now, as The Hollywood Reporter tells us, two new names have been added to the cast following the reprisal of Reeves and Winter as Bill and Ted, along with William Sadler as the Grim Reaper from 1991’s “Bogus Journey.” They are the actresses portraying Bill and Ted’s daughters as young women.
That would be a surprise particularly for those who watched “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” who might remember the two main Wyld Stallyns introducing their then-infant children, unimaginatively called “Little Ted” (Bill’s) and “Little Bill” (Ted’s). Initially assumed to be sons, this recent casting clarifies them as female. Regular Netflix actresses Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving respectively play Billie Logan and Thea Preston, establishing that Winter and Reeves’ characters did marry their medieval-England princess girlfriends and become parents. Where this plot point will go has yet to be definitively revealed.
“Face the Music” producer Scott Kroopf remarked that the two actresses (Lundy-Paine from the US and Weaving from Australia) were chosen due to their tandem chemistry that felt like déjà vu with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter for their cult-classic roles. That is no empty platitude considering that original franchise creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon are writing this movie’s story. Comedy veteran Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”) is directing for MGM via their secondary label Orion Pictures. One element from the original films that is conspicuously absent is the late George Carlin’s mentor character Rufus, who has not been recast.
Storyline details would have the now middle-aged Bill and Ted go on another time-travel adventure as they look back on their past hijinks as slacker teen rockers, and ponder when the utopian future influenced by their music (and where Rufus and their phone-booth time machine came from) will finally come to pass. “Bill & Ted Face the Music” is scheduled for an August 2020 release.
Image courtesy of Rolling Stone