Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon have revealed that Bill and Ted were nearly responsible for everything bad that ever happened in history in an early draft of the story. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the cult film and Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter have gotten together to discuss some of the major changes that the franchise went through with Matheson and Solomon. As it turns out, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was almost a completely different movie.
Chris Matheson still has the notes that he and Ed Solomon wrote ahead of the script, which had the movie titled as Bill and Ted's Time Van, which is pretty good, but definitely not as good as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Other differences were a lot more drastic, with some of the areas the duo could have visited including Revolutionary France, Egypt, Medieval England, Pirates on the high seas, the signing of the Magna Carta, the Arthurian Legend, Charlemagne, Columbus, Hitler, Russian Revolution, Richard Nixon, and more. Matheson recalls that at one point, Bill and Ted were going to be responsible for starting the Civil War. He explains.
"The original impulse. Was that they were going to be responsible for everything bad that ever happened in human history. Like, they caused the Civil War. They caused World War I. They caused the Titanic to sink."
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure would have been a completely different movie had Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon gone through with their original plan. In the Hitler story arc, one of the popular kids from high school was going to befriend the infamous dictator, which is a bit darker than what ended up on the big screen, to say the least. Thankfully, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure ended up as a more positive, lighthearted teen comedy.
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter recall reading the script for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and both knew that it was different and special right from the start. Though many have tried, there's still nothing like any of the Bill and Ted movies. Alex Winter recalls.
"Teen comedy scripts, they never had any kind of depth to the language."
And Reeves remembers enjoying that the movie was completely different than anything else out there in 1989. The actor even goes as far as to call Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure an "assault" on the teen movies at the time. He explains.
"This one seemed to be such an assault on that. How do you not laugh at Beeth-Oven and Noah's wife? Non-heinous. That's funny!"
Alex Winter also revealed that Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure's original ending was sort of heinous. The actor admits that he and Keanu Reeves weren't really into it throughout shooting and says that they were pretty bummed on it. He had this to say.
"We just bring the historical figures back to our classroom. And Keanu just sat on the desk, and watched them kind of talk about who they were. Then we'd go to the prom, and that's the end. Even while we were shooting it, we were kind of depressed."
Thankfully, the ending was changed, and Reeves and Winter got to shoot the proper ending for the movie, which is the best possible outcome for the way that the story unfolded. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was almost a completely different movie back in 1989 and thankfully, everything worked out in the end. The original reunion of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was published by Entertainment Weekly. You can see photos and video here thanks to Twitter.