Just 20 months ago, EW hosted a Bill & Ted reunion with stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, as well as franchise writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. Then, last spring, it was announced that Bill & Ted Face the Music — the first film in the comedy/sci-fi series since 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey — would soon start shooting. Coincidence? Apparently not. “The response to what you did was staggering to even the biggest cynics,” says Solomon. “That was great news for us.”
This third Bill & Ted film (out Aug. 21) finds Winter’s Bill S. Preston Esq. and Reeves’ Ted Theodore Logan III still trying to create music for their band, Wyld Stallyns, which they learned back in 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure will inspire the utopian society of the future. “They were told when they were teenagers that they were going to save reality, and they’ve been working on it the whole time,” says Matheson. “Now an emissary from the future comes and says, ‘You’ve got to do it right now. We’ve got literally 80 minutes or all of reality will come to an end.’”
The pair are aided in their quest by their daughters. Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) plays Bill’s offspring, Thea, while Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) is Ted’s kid, Billie. “The daughters really love their dads’ music and want to help them,” Matheson says.
Other franchise newbies joining the fun are Barry star Anthony Carrigan, Saturday Night Live cast member Beck Bennett, who portrays Ted’s younger brother, Deacon, and musician-actor Kid Cudi. “He plays Kid Cudi,” says director Dean Parisot. “He gets mysteriously thrown around through various times, because all time and space is coming unglued.” Returning series veterans, meanwhile, also include William Sadler as the Grim Reaper. “Death was in the band in the second film,” says Parisot. “Things didn’t go all that well. But I’ll leave it at that!”
Reeves has been busy in front of the camera since he and Winter last portrayed Bill and Ted in Bogus Journey (busy enough of late for EW to have named him one of our 2019 Entertainers of the Year). But Winter spent much of that time directing documentaries. Was he concerned that he might have lost his acting chops? “If I was going back into doing fricking King Lear, then I would have been wetting my nappies,” he says. “But I do know this guy pretty well.”
See more exclusive first-look images from Bill & Ted Face the Music below.