Bill and Ted co-creator Ed Solomon has revealed that the new threequel almost ended with a conclusion that was deemed “a bummer” by stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.
He also admitted there was a draft of the movie that also featured the protagonists utilising the time travel skills of Santa Claus in order to save the day.
Solomon, who has written all three movies with Chris Matheson, said the first draft of the script in 2010 concluded with a note of failure for the beloved characters.
He told Collider that the original draft saw Bill and Ted fail to fulfil what they believed to be their destiny, not selling a single ticket for a triumphant reunion show at the 90,000-seat Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
“Alex and Keanu were, I think correctly, like, ‘uh, that’s sort of a bummer’,” revealed Solomon.
“We’ve had this experience on the first two Bill and Ted movies, where I thought a smaller ending [would be better].”
Solomon said the conclusions of both 1989’s Excellent Adventure and the 1991 sequel Bogus Journey had to be reshot in order to amp up the scale of their finales, so he did not want them to make the same mistake with this new film.
But that’s not the strangest alternative ending that Solomon put forward for Face the Music, with one draft featuring Santa Claus saving the day.
Solomon said: “Bill and Ted had to get instruments to everyone in the world throughout all space and time in one evening, and they were like: ‘How are we gonna possibly do that? We have no way to do that!’ and they say: ‘Well we can’t, but there’s one man who can.’
“And then we cut to ‘ho ho ho’ and a sleigh, and it was Bill and Ted and the Princesses on Santa’s sleigh using Santa magic because Santa can go around the world in one night.”
This idea apparently didn’t go down too well, though Alex Winter was reportedly fond of it for a while before it was swiftly scrapped.
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Solomon confessed that the team had intended to do some extra photography on Face the Music in order to improve the ending, but that COVID-19 scuppered those plans and it was down to the edit to make the conclusion work.
Bill and Ted Face the Music reunites Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as the titular duo, with William Sadler also returning to the fray as the Grim Reaper.
Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine join the ensemble as the daughters of Bill and Ted, with Jillian Bell, Kristen Schaal and rapped Kid Cudi — playing himself — among the new additions.
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Bill and Ted Face the Music is in UK cinemas now.