After almost 30 years, we're finally getting Bill & Ted Face the Music. The hugely anticipated sequel will stream on PVOD starting August 28 with a simultaneous release in select theaters and drive-ins. It was a long road to get the movie made, and some are disappointed that the follow-up to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey won't be getting a traditional release due to the ongoing health crisis faced around the globe. But those same fans should be pretty excited that the Wyld Stallyns are coming straight to their homes instead.
The best news here is that the team behind this long anticipated sequel, spearheaded by original stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter alongside original creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, have stuck the landing. Bill and Ted Face the Music is a sequel that is pure of heart. It's a true continuation of what has become before it, and it's incredibly fun. This is the sequel we've been waiting for.
Though, it does arrives under unique circumstances. We haven't heard too much from the creators or actors heading into the movie's debut. It's one of the first major blockbusters to arrive in the past six months, since theaters shut down. And while it's a bummer that a vast majority of fans won't get to see Bill and Ted Face the Music in theaters, the sequel will be placed in our hands without the initial burden of hype that raises or flattens expectations. So we can view it on its own without all the noise that usually surrounds a major release such as this.
To celebrate the release of the movie, we caught up with the two creators behind the Bill and Ted franchise, Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, who wrote all three movies in the series. The story this time finds our heroes finally having to face the music. They need to create the song that saves the universe, or reality will implode upon itself. These are dire circumstances. And at the heart of everything is this one chart-breaking single the Wyld Stallyns have failed to produce for the past 31 years. So, how do you even go about creating something of such magnitude for a movie? Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson found a way to satisfy fans in a most triumphant way.
The most important element to get right in terms of this long legacy is the song that saves the universe. And you guys nailed it. What was the process of creating this song that needed to tie together the entire trilogy? Am I wrong in thinking that it incorporates certain pieces and elements of music from the last two soundtracks. Because it sounds exactly like Bill and Ted music?
Ed Solomon: I don't personally know whether they use music from the first two soundtracks. That's a really interesting point. I'm not sure about that. It was cobbled together in a true sense of the word. But from a lot of sources. We also knew that by setting ourselves up to say, there's got to be a song, and that song has got to unite the world, that we were creating a puzzle. One that would be literally impossible for us to put together. The only salvation for us was saying it's not the quality of the song that saves the world. It's the fact that it soared by and was played by everybody, that it was played by all these people that were brought together. That's what we were trying to go for. Because, I think if it had been a singular piece of music that was so good, it would have been impossible. It's like when a movie says, 'Here's the poetry contest' then 'Here's a poem' and that poem is the best poem ever written. And then you have to write that. It could never be enough.
The Tenacious D movie did the same thing. I know their set up of having the Greatest Song in the World came way after the idea was introduced in the Bill and Ted movie. But they executed it first. And with the Pick of Destiny, they did go for a singular piece of music. Did you look at that movie to get kind of a sense of how one goes about pulling off the idea of the greatest song in the world?
Chris Matheson: No, we didn't. I remember seeing it back in the day. But I don't remember it...What did they do?
Tenacious D. has always had the song Tribute, which pays homage to the greatest song in the world. In Pick of Destiny, they actually give us that song. In a similar sense, it is kind of cobbled together from various different elements. Their 'Greatest Song in the World' is pretty good. But there is just a build up and hype to get there that, whatever the song is, it's insurmountable to live up to it.
Chris Matheson: Oh, sure, sure.
I honestly think you guys pulled it off. It totally works. I loved the grand finale here, despite it being thirty years in the making, which is a long time to harbor expectations for something.
Ed Solomon: Director Dean Parisot was very instrumental in how...Because he's a very musical guy...And then I just handed him like...'Okay, we have a song at the end that's gonna save the world. You know? We we have a bunch of stuff there, like Louis Armstrong and the ancient Chinese flute. All this stuff. You got elements for something really strange and interesting. He's the one who got that idea to work. I think. Furthermore, it was his idea, this notion that it's not the storm. It's everybody playing together. So I give him credit for that.
Maybe about four years ago I talked to Keanu Reeves about the script that you guys had at that time. And he said the end credit sequence from Bogus Journey wasn't being used. That none of that stuff actually happened in the context of the continuing storyline. But you guys actually found a way to make those headlines canon in a way that really made sense, and kept the legacy of their trajectory as a band alive.
Ed Solomon: Yeah, it was kind of clear to us what had happened. They did play a giant concert at the end of Bogus Journey. They did have all the eyes of the world. They were stars. Briefly. People were amazed by what they did. That did happen. That stuff did happen. Now, there were other jokes that were made [in the Bogus Journey end credit scene], and they're not our jokes. They were just sort of tacked on. That they bring peace worldwide, and all pollution goes away? We didn't write that stuff. We didn't want to go that far. We didn't really want to say that. They had become big stars for a moment. Death was involved in that. And that was a big deal to Death, because he was famous for a minute. For something good. Then they were flashes in the pan, and it didn't work out. And within five years, it pretty much fell apart.
Chris Matheson: We didn't write those jokes [in Bogus Journey]. Someone from the title company put them in, and then we felt, 'Oh, no, we're kind of embattled for them now in this movie.' We did not want to start the movie with them being giant stars. Because there's nowhere to go. But now maybe they had a falling apart? They don't do that to each other. That would never happen in Bill and Ted's world. They would never be apart, ever. And so we did what you said. Which is...We felt like we knew we needed to address it. That's what the opening sequence [in Face the Music] is about. We knew we needed to deal with it. But we wanted to take what we thought we could use and abandon what we thought hurt us on the story.
This is kind of a two part question. I recently read the Faith No More biography. And they don't mention Jim Martin's role in Bogus Journey at all. How did you guys come to pick the one dude that's not in the band any more to be in your movie? And when deciding who should be Kid Cudi, so to speak, how did you decide on picking someone who would still be relevant in a decade removed from this coming out?
Chris Matheson: Was there any worry about finding somebody like Kid Cudi to fill that role? Well, I hope that what you're saying is that Kid Cudi won't get kicked out of Kid Cudi.
I meant in finding a contemporary musician to fill that particular role he serves. Finding someone you felt would still be relevant in the evergreen life of this sequel. Not another Jim Martin, who is off sitting in a pumpkin patch somewhere. Cause there were four other dudes from Faith No More who could have easily filled that role that are still relevant and playing together today.
Ed Solomon: I don't even remember how we ended up with Jim Martin. I think Faith No More were kind of popular at the time, I guess. Look. It's not like, in the first and second movies, we were that popular. That we could get anyone we wanted. We wanted Kid Cudi to be in this one. Thankfully, the first two movies landed and lasted a little better over time, than it seemed initially. Initially, we were scrambling. To be totally honest. Scrambling to find anyone who could be in [Bogus Journey]. In this new movie, we had a bigger selection. Thankfully, even though there were some people that we didn't catch, that we wanted to get. Kid Cudi was one we really wanted. Why? We knew already that he was a giant Bill and Ted fan. He actually designed an Adidas line. He had a Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey Adidas line that was about to come out. So we knew that Kid Cudi was a fan of the movie. And by the way, he couldn't be a nicer guy? He was such a nice guy. And such a joy to work with.
Chris Matheson: We knew we wanted a wider range of musical styles in the movies. We knew that we wanted to have an eclectic mix of past and present. He was an obvious choice for us, and when we sent him the script, literally 90 minutes after getting the script, he said, 'I'm in'. It was really cool.
This movie deals with time travel. There are so many time travel movies around now. And all of them deal with the idea of a multiverse. As far as I can tell, there's not really a multiverse in the Bill and Ted universe. At the same time, I couldn't decide for myself, after watching the movie...When they go visit the various Bill and Teds, if those Bill and Ted incarnations are still going to survive after they've done the greatest song? Or are those split off pieces of multiverse?
Ed Solomon: Good question. You can figure that out. We're not going to try and tell you...I'm joking. I was teasing you. I would say that that is one future that is inextricably tied to one path. And the actions that they took changed the course of Time. Time became relevant for them and for the point field of the movie. So I would say no. I would say in this timeline, because of the changes made in the timeline, that future will not be the future for them going forwards in that time. That's crazy.
Chris Matheson: I mean, the multiverse is great, right? Because it allows you to go anywhere. There's infinite possibilities. That could happen. It happens. Sure, there is that version, but it's not gonna happen in the main timeline to them, in the one week that follow. Now it's like Annapolis.
But if you wanted to do another sequel, there's a way for any one of those pairs of Bill and Teds to really screw something up in an alternate universe. There's like, Infinite possibilities there?
Ed Solomon: Three of those scenes definitely are one reality, You know what I mean? Like the amateur hour and Dave Grohl's House and then prison. But those are all linked, and then they all refer to each other like that's one timeline. That's definitely one life. And then the old guys is a little more ambiguous, I think. But let's say it's the same life. It's a lot. It's a life path, you know. They got out of prison and they lost all their muscle weight, and they settled down a little bit, you know, die at 95 or something. But that would seem to be in my mind. That is kind of one whole life, that journey. They're not a separate reality. That's kind of one that they're burning through now, I think...
I heard somewhere that the live-action TV series that aired on Fox back in the 90s is actually canon. I'm not sure I ever heard that from you guys. Is there any truth to that?
Ed Solomon: I would not consider that canon. In any way. We tried. We had a meeting with them, and we wanted to be involved. And they kicked us off. They hadn't stated any desire to have us have anything to do with that. I remember Savage Steve Holland...And we got Darren Star. They had no interest in what we had to say. We were booted before we even started on that. I never had anything to do with it.
Chris Matheson: That was just one of those meetings. They'd already decided they didn't want us. They already knew they didn't want us.
That sounds crazy that they wouldn't want the creators involved with the series. I only have one more question. The other day I heard that they are turning Stay Tuned into a TV show. Mom And Dad Save the World came out the same year as that movie. Both star Jeffrey Jones. Have you guys thought of rebooting this as a movie or TV show? Because the premise definitely has a lot of potential.
Ed Solomon: No, no. It's funny. That movie seems to keep coming back up. I've been hearing about it a lot this year. Maybe it's because Donald Trump is kind of a Tod Spengo like character. In a certain way. People have been referring to Tod in that way. But no, I don't think...God, I can't even imagine anyone even being able to find the original print of that movie. But I'm thrilled that you watched it. I wonder if it holds up? I haven't seen it since it came out. It was a total failure. So there's that. I don't know who owns it. Warner Brothers? I don't know. Wow. It wouldn't be our decision anyway. But Tod was a very fun character, right? He was a really, really a ridiculous character. And Jon Lovitz really did play Helen. He was quite fun.
The set design is amazing. It reminds me of 5000 fingers of Dr T. Have you ever seen that movie? The Dr. Seuss movie?
Ed Solomon: Director Greg Beeman was going for Dr. Seuss. Mixed with Spanish architects.
Bill and Ted Face the Music will be in select theaters and Drive-Ins this Friday. It is also getting a simultaneous release on PVOD.