Bill & Ted

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Bill & Ted
BillAndTedDoubleFeature.jpg
DVD covers of the Bill & Ted films Excellent Adventure (left) and Bogus Journey
Directed byStephen Herek
(Excellent Adventure)
Peter Hewitt
(Bogus Journey)
Dean Parisot
(Face the Music)
Produced byScott Kroopf
(all films)
Michael S. Murphey
Joel Soisson
(Excellent Adventure)
Steven Soderbergh
(Face the Music)
Written byChris Matheson
Ed Solomon
StarringKeanu Reeves
Alex Winter
Music byDavid Newman
Production
company
Distributed byOrion Pictures (all films)
United Artists Releasing
Warner Bros. Pictures (3)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (current)
Release date
February 17, 1989 – present
Running time
183 minutes
(2 films)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million
(2 films)
Box office$78.5 million
(2 films)

Bill & Ted is an American comedy film series featuring William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. and "Ted" Theodore Logan, portrayed by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively, as two metalhead slacker friends who travel through time. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), followed by a sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991), while Bill & Ted Face the Music began production in June 2019. There have been numerous spin-offs, including an animated television series (with Winter and Reeves reprising their roles), a live-action television series in 1992, video games, and comic books. Originally produced by Orion Pictures, ownership moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) following the purchase of Orion in 1997.

Premise[edit]

The series follows the pair of William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. (played by Alex Winter in the films) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves), initially two teenaged slackers living in San Dimas, California in 1988. They want to make their rock band, "Wyld Stallyns", successful but their ambitions and lackadaisical attitudes leaves them close to flunking out of high school and threatening to split the band up forever. Unknown to them, their music will form the basis of a utopian society in the future. The leaders of this society send Rufus (George Carlin) to help Bill & Ted pass school with the aid of a time machine that appears as a phone booth, to make sure they pass and assure the future. Later films focus on attempts by others to break up Bill & Ted so that their music will never lead to the utopia.

Films[edit]

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

Excellent Adventure introduces Bill and Ted who are trying to write a history report. Rufus, a guide from the year 2688, arrives to provide them the time machine which allows them to travel back in time and meet historical figures in order to 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, which will lead to Wyld Stallyns never forming, in turn destroying a Utopian future built around their music.

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

In Bogus Journey, Chuck De Nomolos, a resident of the utopia, is sick of it and sends a pair of Bill & Ted robot doubles back into the past to kill Bill and Ted and make a future based on his ideals. Bill & Ted are killed, face the Grim Reaper, and manage to best him at several games, giving them the opportunity to find allies to stop their robot doubles and De Nomolos before an upcoming Battle of the Bands where they must also rescue the princesses they are engaged to and start their musical careers.

Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)[edit]

Since 2010, there had been attempts to write a script and shop around for a third film in the series, with both Reeves and Winter involved along with Matheson and Solomon writing.[1][2] The script spent several years in preparation, as according to Solomon, they wanted to continue the series and characters properly and not make the sequel look like a simple cash-grab.[3] Negotiations at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival greenlit the film, which is slated for release on August 10, 2020.[4][5][6][7]

The film is expected to follow Bill & Ted, middle-aged adults with their own daughters, coming to realize they have yet to achieve the music that the future Utopian society will follow. Alongside Reeves and Winter returning as the titular duo, William Sadler will reprise his role as the Grim Reaper.[8] Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving will appear as Ted's daughter Billie Logan and Bill's daughter Thea Preston, respectively.[9] Kid Cudi was also announced as a cast member for the film in a yet-named part.[10]

Television[edit]

Animated[edit]

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).[11] This version aired seven episodes in 1992 on Fox.

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Films Television Series
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Bill & Ted Face the Music Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures
(animated)
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures
(live action)
Season 1 Season 2
1989 1991 2020 1990 1991 1992
Bill S. Preston, Esq. Alex Winter Alex Winter Alex Winter Evan Richards
William Throne
(young)
Ted "Theodore" Logan Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves Christopher Kennedy
Brendan Ryan
(young)
Rufus
Ms. Wardroe
George Carlin George Carlin George Carlin
(archive footage)[3]
George Carlin Rick Overton
Pam Grier
(Ms Wardroe disguise)
Mr. Preston J. Patrick McNamara Don Lake
Missy Logan (née Preston) Amy Stoch Lisa Wilcox
Captain Johnathan "John" Logan Hal Landon Jr. Matt Landers
Princess Joanna Preston Diane Franklin Sarah Trigger Jayma Mays[12] Kath Soucie
Princess Elizabeth Logan Kimberley Kates Annette Azcuy Erinn Hayes[12]
Deacon Logan Frazier Bain Beck Bennett[13] Danny Cooksey
Mr. Ryan Bernie Casey Bernie Casey
Billy the Kid Dan Shor
Death
The Grim Reaper
William Sadler
Thea Preston[14]
Little Ted
Candace & Lauren Mead[15]
(uncredited)
Samara Weaving
Billie Logan[14]
Little Bill
Brigette Lundy-Paine
Station Ed Gale & Gil Arturo
(suit actors, small version)
Tom Allard
(suit actor, big version)
Frank Welker
(voice; uncredited)
Chuck De Nomolos Joss Ackland
Granny S. Preston Alex Winter
TBA Anthony Carrigan
The Great Leader Holland Taylor
Kelly Kristen Schaal
Little Richard Himself
Mary Jane Tara Charendoff
Mr. Keilson Danny Breen
Note: A gray cell indicates character did not appear in that medium.

Comics[edit]

DC Comics adapted the first film.[16] Then in 1991, a one-shot comic book adaptation of Bogus Journey was published to coincide with the second film's release.[17] Its popularity led to the series Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book by Evan Dorkin and produced by Marvel Comics.[18]

In 2015, Boom! Comics revived the franchise in comic form with Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return.[19] That success of that miniseries led to two additional miniseries.[20] [21]

Cereal[edit]

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

Musical[edit]

A musical based on the film was produced in 1998 called Bill and Ted's Excellent Musical Adventure.[22]

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.

Game Boy[edit]

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.

NES[edit]

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.

Mobile[edit]

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

Halloween Horror Nights[edit]

Bill & Ted also featured in an annual live-action show at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood during Halloween Horror Nights. Typically the show parodied 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 from Vice of homophobia and racism in that year's show.[23][24][25][26][27] The show continued at Universal Studios Florida, until 2017.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reeve talks new 'Bill and Ted' adventure". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on September 23, 2010.
  2. ^ Matt Clark (September 25, 2010). "'Bill and Ted 3' Movie Sequel Confirmed". Entertainment. Gather Inc. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^ Ritman, Alex (May 8, 2018). "'Bill & Ted Face the Music' is actually happening, some 29 years after the duo's first excellent adventure". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (May 8, 2018). "Keanu Reeves & Alex Winter Confirmed For Threequel 'Bill & Ted Face The Music'; Bloom On Sales, MGM Has U.S. — Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Witman, Alex (May 13, 2019). "Cannes: Warner Bros., MGM Take 'Bill & Ted 3' for International Markets". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Hayner, Chris (March 20, 2019). "Bill And Ted 3 Will Finally Face The Music As Sequel Gets Release Date". GameSpot. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Welk, Brian (March 25, 2019). "William Sadler to Return as Grim Reaper in 'Bill & Ted Face the Music'". The Wrap. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Couch, Aaron (June 5, 2019). "'Bill & Ted 3' Finds Daughters for 'Face the Music'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 13, 2019). "'Bill & Ted Face The Music' Grooves With Grammy Winner Kid Cudi". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  11. ^ Herbert, Steven (June 28, 1992). "Bill and Ted Make It to Prime Time, City Doesn't". LA Times. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  12. ^ a b "'Bill & Ted Face the Music': Jayma Mays & Erinn Hayes Cast In Key Roles". Deadline.com. June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  13. ^ https://variety.com/2019/film/news/bill-and-ted-sequel-new-returning-cast-members-1203254965/
  14. ^ a b "Exclusive: 'Bill & Ted 3' Co-Writer Ed Solomon on the Story, New Characters, and More". Collider.com. May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  15. ^ Solomon, Ed [@ed_solomon] (June 15, 2019). "The actors who played Little Bill and Little Ted in Bogus Journey were named Candace and Lauren Mead" (Tweet). Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=303081
  17. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=89721
  18. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=79721
  19. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=35934875
  20. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=43247324
  21. ^ https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=47842733
  22. ^ "Bill & Ted's Excellent Online Adventure - The Musical - Overview".
  23. ^ Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (October 17, 2013). "The Bill and Ted Show at Universal Studios Is Super Homophobic (and Also Racist and Terrible)". VICE. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  24. ^ "Bill & Ted's Show". Halloween Horror Nights. Universal Studios Hollywood. October 31, 2013. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013.
  25. ^ Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (October 23, 2013). "Universal Studios Canceled Their Homophobic/Racist/Terrible Bill and Ted Show". VICE. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  26. ^ Nichols, James (October 24, 2013). "Do You Think Universal Studios Should Have Canceled This Controversial Halloween Show?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  27. ^ Child, Ben (October 24, 2013). "Bill and Ted Halloween show cancelled over 'gay Superman' complaints". The Guardian. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  28. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (September 20, 2017). "Universal: Why it's farewell for 'Bill & Ted'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 3, 2018.