Bill & Ted (franchise)

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Bill & Ted
DVD covers of the Bill & Ted films Excellent Adventure (left) and Bogus Journey (right)
Bill & Ted
Directed by Stephen Herek
(Excellent Adventure)
Peter Hewitt
(Bogus Journey)
Produced by Scott Kroopf
(both films)
Michael S. Murphey
Joel Soisson
(Excellent Adventure)
Written by Chris Matheson
Ed Solomon
Starring Keanu Reeves
Alex Winter
Music by David Newman
Release date
February 17, 1989 – present
Running time
183 minutes
(both films, in total)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
(both movies, in total)
Box office $78.5 million
(both movies, in total)

Bill & Ted is a series of two films (and their spin-offs) featuring William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and "Ted" Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) as two metalhead slackers who travel through time. The first Bill & Ted film, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, was released on February 17, 1989, followed by a sequel two years later entitled Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. A third film has been in the works since 2010, but there is no current release date.

In 1990, a spin-off animated television series Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures was produced with Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprising their roles. A second season featuring none of the original cast was made in 1991 followed by a short-lived live-action television series in 1992. The characters have also featured in other media including several video games and a comic book. Since Orion Pictures is defunct, MGM now owns the rights to Bill & Ted.


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)[edit]

Excellent Adventure introduces Bill Preston and Ted Logan who are trying to write a history report, and encounter a traveler from the future who gives them access to a time machine (shaped like a telephone booth) which allows them to travel back in time and meet historical figures and learn about key historical events. If Bill and Ted fail to pass, their teacher will have to flunk them and Ted's father will transfer him to an Alaskan military academy. In this movie, it is also revealed that Bill and Ted are in a band called Wyld Stallyns.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)[edit]

Bogus Journey sees Bill and Ted being killed by robot doubles who capture their fiancées, and their attempts to get back from the afterlife by challenging the Grim Reaper to a series of games. Bill and Ted (along with the Grim Reaper) eventually return to present-day Earth just prior to the Wyld Stallyns' performance at the Battle of the Bands, which takes place later that night.

Bill & Ted: Face the Music (TBA)[edit]

In 2010, Reeves indicated that Matheson and Solomon were working on a script for a third film.[1][2] Winter has stated that the role of Rufus (previously played by the late George Carlin) would not be recast.[3]

In April 2011, Reeves stated that a third film was close to happening.[4] On April 24, 2011, Winter tweeted that the script for the third installment had been finished.[5] The plot was suspected to be about Bill and Ted writing a song that could save the world, although in a pre-San Diego Comic-Con International interview, Alex Winter stated the storyline may also involve time travel to the prehistoric era, and the film would likely see a cameo by Eddie Van Halen as well as the return of Socrates and Billy the Kid, who appeared in the first movie.[6]

The current script does not feature William Sadler reprising his role as the Grim Reaper, but the screenwriters are looking for a way to include him, and Sadler has expressed interest in returning to the role.[7] In August 2012, director Dean Parisot of Galaxy Quest and Red 2 was attached to direct.[8] In March 2013, at the SXSW Film Festival, Winter confirmed progress on the film was still moving forward.[9][10]

In August 2013, when asked about a third film, Reeves replied, "There have been a couple of drafts [of a Bill & Ted 3 script] and right now, we're waiting on the writers to come up with another draft. But we're all very excited."[11] In an October 20, 2013 Reddit AMA, Reeves revealed that he has seen the script for Bill & Ted 3, stating, "We are working on trying to get Bill & Ted 3. There's a script and we are trying to put it together."[12]

In a September 2014 interview with Yahoo! Movies, Winter revealed more details on the plot, stating that "[Bill and Ted] will be 40-something and it's all about Bill and Ted grown up, or not grown up". Winter also stated that the film would not be a reboot of the franchise, stating that "it's a Bill & Ted movie, that's what it is. It's for the fans of Bill & Ted. It fits very neatly in the [series]. It's not going to feel like a reboot."[13] On the March 2015 episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, Reeves confirmed that Bill & Ted 3 is still being planned, stating, "Yes, they want to do that. The writers wrote a script, which is a really cool idea and Alex Winter and I – Alex played Bill, I played Ted – so we're trying to get it made".[14]

In April 2016, Alex Winter told Forbes that they have a script, a director and a studio and that there had been a plan to film by early 2017.[15]

Reeves gave an update on the film in February 2017 during an interview on The Graham Norton Show saying the story was written and discussed the plot of the film. “Basically, they’re supposed to write a song to save the world and they haven’t done that. The pressure of having to save the world, their marriages are falling apart, their kids are kind of mad at them, and then someone comes from the future and tells them if they don’t write the song it’s just not the world, it’s the universe. So they have to save the universe because time is breaking apart” Reeves said.[16] During the New York City Comic Convention, Reeves revealed that the title will be Bill & Ted: Face the Music.[17]

Solomon, speaking to Digital Spy in January 2018, said of the film's long pre-production period:

We have a script that we really are proud of, that we worked very hard on, that we've done many iterations of – and we did it on spec, meaning we spent years working on it because we wanted to get it right, creatively. This is not, 'Hey let's all cash-in on the Bill & Ted thing for money' – this is the opposite. This is, 'We love these characters, they've been with us for our whole lives' – Chris and me, and Alex and Keanu – and we wanted to visit them again as middle-aged men. We thought it would be really fun, and funny, and sweet.

— Ed Solomon[18]

Solomon further stated that they have had issues getting financing for the film as those they have approached want to see a reboot of Bill & Ted, rather than a sequel, and had also expressed concerns that since the first film was not distributed internationally, there would not be a large audience for this film.[18] Solomon said that elements of the script would see the middle-aged Bill & Ted revisiting events of the first film, such as watching their interactions outside of the Circle K. Solomon confirmed that they have Steven Soderbergh aboard for production of the film,[18] along with Scott Kroopf, who produced the original films. They also have planned for Bill Sadler to return as the Grim Reaper.[19]



The first season was produced by Hanna-Barbera and ran for 13 episodes on CBS in 1990, featured the voices of Carlin, Winter, and Reeves returning to their roles in the film. A second season of eight episodes ran on Fox Kids and was produced by DIC Entertainment, with none of the original cast.

Live action[edit]

A later live-action series, featuring none of the cast from the film, included Christopher Kennedy as Bill and Evan Richards as Ted (who also voiced the same roles in the animated season produced by Dic).[20] This version aired seven episodes in 1992 on Fox.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Films Animated series Television series
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1990-1991) Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1992)
Bill S. Preston, Esquire Alex Winter Alex Winter (season 1)
Evan Richards (season 2)
Evan Richards
Ted "Theodore" Logan Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves (season 1)
Christopher Kennedy (season 2)
Christopher Kennedy
Rufus George Carlin George Carlin (season 1)
Rick Overton (season 2)
Rick Overton
Mr. Preston J. Patrick McNamara Don Lake
Missy Preston Amy Stock-Poynton Lisa Wilcox
Captain Logan Hal Landon Jr. TBA Matt Landers
Princess Joanna Diane Franklin Sarah Trigger
Princess Elizabeth Kimberley Kates Annette Azcuy
The Grim Reaper William Sadler
Station Ed Gale
Arturo Gil
Tom Allard
Frank Welker (voice)
Chuck De Nomolos Joss Ackland
Note: A gray cell indicates character did not appear in that medium.


A one-shot comic book adaptation of the sequel was published to coincide with the second film's release. Its popularity led to the series Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book by Evan Dorkin and produced by Marvel Comics.


A cereal based on the cartoon adaptation. It was made by the now-defunct Ralston Purina. It was short-lived, like the cartoon, and it included many giveaways and promotions.


A musical based on the film was produced in 1998 called Bill and Ted's Excellent Musical Adventure.[21]

Video games[edit]

There were also Game Boy, NES and Atari Lynx games released, which were very loosely based on the film's plot. A PC title and nearly identical Amiga and Commodore 64 port were made in 1991 by Off the Wall Productions and IntraCorp, Inc. under contract by Capstone Software and followed the original film very closely.

Home computer[edit]

A single player graphic adventure PC game based on the 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. It was released by Capstone for DOS, Commodore 64, and Amiga systems in 1990.


An action-puzzle game loosely based on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Atari Lynx[edit]

A video game for the Atari Lynx handheld based on the Bill & Ted films and the Saturday morning cartoon.


An action-adventure video game based on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure that was released in North America by LJN for the Nintendo Entertainment System.


Wyld Stallyns is an action-RPG video game based on the Bill & Ted universe that is scheduled to be released by Built Games in 2018 for iOS and Android devices.

Halloween Horror Nights[edit]

Bill & Ted also feature in an annual live-action show at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood during Halloween Horror Nights. Typically the show will parody the past year's worth of notable pop culture events, featuring locally cast performers as the title characters.

In 2013, the Universal Studios Hollywood Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure show was cancelled following allegations by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete[22] from Vice of homophobia and racism in that year's show.[23][24][25][26] The show continued at Universal Studios Florida, until 2017.[27]


  1. ^ "Reeve talks new 'Bill and Ted' adventure". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 2010-09-23. 
  2. ^ "'Bill and Ted 3' Movie Sequel Confirmed | Gather". Archived from the original on 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  3. ^ "Rufus 'won't be recast for Bill & Ted 3'". Digital Spy. 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  4. ^ "'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure 3'". Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  5. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (2011-04-25). "Bill & Ted 3' Movie Script Finished: Alex Winter Tweets Update'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  6. ^ "'Bill And Ted 3' Script Completed, Confirms Alex Winter". Muveez. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Grim Reaper Could Return For Bill And Ted 3, Says William Sadler". 
  8. ^ Brodesser, Claude. "Bill & Ted May Ride Again for a Third Film". Vulture. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  9. ^ White, Brett (2013-03-15). "'Bill & Ted 3' Won't Be A 'Weird Reboot,' Alex Winter Promises - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Shira Lazar: Bill and Ted 3 Sneaks Its Way Into SXSW 2013 (WATCH)". 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  11. ^ "Keanu Reeves Reveals A New 'Bill & Ted 3' Script Is In The Works". 2013-08-07. Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  12. ^ "Keanu Reeves. Ask me, if you want, almost anything. (self.IAmA)". 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  13. ^ "Alex Winter Gives an Excellent Update on 'Bill & Ted 3'". Yahoo Movies. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2014-09-25. 
  14. ^, Sarah Robertson for (28 March 2015). "Keanu Reeves confirms plans for third Bill and Ted movie to Jonathan Ross". 
  15. ^ "Bill and Ted 3 Update". Slashfilm. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  16. ^ "Keanu Reeves confirms new Bill & Ted movie, and it's got a bonkers plot". February 11, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Bill & Ted 3 Gets a Title". October 7, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  18. ^ a b c Jeffery, Morgan (January 24, 2018). "Bill & Ted writer reveals how the planned third film will pay tribute to George Carlin's Rufus". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 26, 2018. 
  19. ^ Franich, Darren (March 30, 2018). "Bill & Ted 3: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and the writers talk proposed sequel (which might actually happen!)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  20. ^ Herbert, Steven (June 28, 1992). "Bill and Ted Make It to Prime Time, City Doesn't". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  21. ^ "Bill & Ted's Excellent Online Adventure - The Musical - Overview". 
  22. ^ Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (17 October 2013). "The Bill and Ted Show at Universal Studios Is Super Homophobic (and Also Racist and Terrible) | VICE | United States". VICE. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  23. ^ "Halloween Horror Nights | Universal Studios Hollywood | Bill & Ted Show". Universal Studios Hollywood. 31 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. 
  24. ^ Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (23 October 2013). "Universal Studios Canceled Their Homophobic/Racist/Terrible Bill and Ted Show | VICE | United States". Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  25. ^ Nichols, James (24 October 2013). "Do You Think Universal Studios Should Have Canceled This Controversial Halloween Show?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  26. ^ Child, Ben (24 October 2013). "Bill and Ted Halloween show cancelled over 'gay Superman' complaints". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  27. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (September 20, 2017). "Universal: Why it's farewell for 'Bill & Ted'". Retrieved January 3, 2018.