C'mon Hollywood: Greenlight Bill and Ted 3!
With the recent announcement that the script for a third Bill and Ted adventure had been completed, the fan reaction was almost unanimous; Excellent! The script will now make its way through the studio system with numbers crunched, marketability questioned, and the bankability of its stars examined, while we fans wait for the one word we all want to hear: Greenlight!
There are scripts floating around the lake of Hollywood like dead fish in a nuclear fallout, which isn’t to say they aren’t any good, there’s just a shitload of ‘em out there. Now, even though we haven’t read the script, the fact that Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves have collaborated to create something they feel is appropriate, timely, and ripe for exploration is all we need to get excited and hope for the absolute best.
"Ted, while I agree that, in time, our band will be most triumphant. The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar."
The first Bill and Ted film, BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE was a modestly budgeted film that starred Reeves and Winter as two aspiring rockers who were, well, not very good. However, their excellent adventure led them through time to collect enough information (or, people, in this case) to deliver a worthy history report. It was an unexpected hit and connected with audiences immediately, becoming an instant classic with a multitude of quotes to follow to this day, including the use of the word “dude,” into mainstream youth culture, which lives on to this day.
The sequel, BILL AND TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY took our heroes through another type of adventure, this time through the realms of the afterlife, escorted by death himself, played brilliantly by William Sadler. Sadler nearly stole the show, taking the grim reaper into a fish-out-of-water environment as he dealt with Bill and Ted, making him an engaging and hilarious character. Of course, there were our requisite favorites from the first film, the late George Carlin as Rufus, Evil Bill and Ted, Robot Bill and Ted, and of course, Station! BOGUS JOURNEY ended up being a hit as well, and, in my opinion, surpassed the original. It took the initial concept and really ran with it, giving our heroes a worthy journey to explore their personalities and challenging them to overcome their demons, all while retaining that goofy, off-kilter sense of humor and out-there visuals, creatures, and scenarios.
"You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper."
It’s a simple concept, but made new and fresh with outlandish characters, quote-worthy dialogue, and an imaginative environment, even when replicating the “real” world. Bill and Ted delivered a wholesomely original concept that left two awesome films as its legacy. Keanu Reeves went on to massive success by learning kung fu, saving bus passengers from a bomb, and “lawyering” up with the devil. Alex Winter stayed more behind the scenes, but managed to have a respectable career, although nothing on the scale of Reeves’. And that’s okay. Winter is still cool and never got into any shenanigans that brought his character into question (no masturbation in movie theaters, blowjobs from hookers, or throwing phones in hotels…that we know of). In essence, our two lead actors remain as likable as their counterparts of Bill and Ted: Aloof, silly, fun, and respectable.
"They do get better."
The untimely death of George Carlin leaves a gap to be filled, but not recreated. Rufus deserves to have his legacy left intact, however a comedic guide is still needed for the film’s heritage. It’s likely there’s a character similar in the script and my suggestion for that role would be Zack Galifianakis, Danny McBride, or Louie C.K. They each have their own brand of comedy, as Carlin did, that could segue nicely into the franchise.
Bill and Ted’s journey in the previous films always hinted at and teetered on their future. Twenty years later, there’s no better time than now to explore where the boys ended up and to give them a new journey that will take them through their lives and other worlds once again. It’s not about completing a trilogy or even laying the foundation for a new one, it’s simply about telling another story about these characters and making a good film that can stand up to the previous two.
"This is not what I expected this place to look like at all."
"We got totally lied to by our album covers, man."
We are inundated with so many unnecessary sequels, reboots, and warmed over stories these days, and now we finally have a property worthy of a continuation. To deny these characters another day on stage would be a tragic injustice. We put up with enough bullshit so its imperative to support a project that actually deserves to be made, rather than one that's being shoved down our throats. For once, I'd like to see the good guys win.
Until Bill and Ted grace the screen again, remember to be excellent to each other…and Party On, Dudes!
|Extra Tidbit:||Anyone remember Alex Winter's sketch comedy show The Idiot Box on MTV? I thought it was pretty damn fun at the time with a very distinct Bill and Ted "vibe" to it, just a little more batshit crazy. Check it out.|