Movies frequently finish their first go at production and then send it out to test audiences for reaction. Producers want to know how their product will work when shown to actual potential customers. From the reactions they get, tweaks are made. Tweaks to the beginning of a movie, to tone of a movie, and many times, to the ending. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to find out that the Bill & Ted Face the Music ending was originally supposed to be very different than the ending you’ll see if you watch it now.
Below we’ll break down their original plan for the Bill & Ted Face the Music ending, how it changed, and why it is the way it is now.
Warning: Be advised that if you have not already seen the Bill & Ted Face The Music ending, then this article is going to spoil it for you. Read on at your own risk.
THE BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC ENDING YOU DIDN’T GET TO SEE
Ed Solomon is the co-creator of Bill & Ted. Along with Chris Matheson, the two brought our favorite metalhead slackers to life and Bill & Ted Face The Music sees the creators back in action. They wrote both the current and the unseen original Bill & Ted Face The Music ending.
While the goal for Bill & Ted was to always be the ones who created the music to save the universe, it is actually their daughters who make this happen in the current Bill & Ted Face The Music ending. But they originally had a much different direction in mind.
As Solomon recently revealed on the ReelBlend podcast, the original Bill & Ted Face The Music ending was much more somber and quite sad, one that needed to be retooled as the writing process continued. Solomon says, “The ending changed a lot. Our original ending in this movie was a very somber, very quiet one in our very first draft. It was very personal. There was no reality coming unglued. It was, Bill and Ted had — in an act of incredible hubris 30 years ago — spent a hundred thousand dollars to rent the Rose Bowl for their 30-year anniversary. Assuming it would be just packed, and they’d do a triumphant 30-year reunion tour or 30-year anniversary tour. And now it’s getting close to that, and they’ve sold literally zero tickets because their careers tanked, but they still have to perform at the Rose Bowl, or at least go there. We had a scene where they go and try to get their money back from the Rose Bowl. And they’re like, ‘No! Not possible.’ And we actually brought the movie to the end of the Rose Bowl, and it was empty, and no one was ever there, and they failed. They failed. They never came up with the song. And they go home.”
But it didn’t Bill & Ted Face The Music didn’t end there. Solomon continues, “And then, they just hear this music playing, and they realize it was never them. It was never them. It was their kids. And that was our original ending.”
A lifetime spent trying to come up with THE music to save an entire universe, only realizing they could never make it happen seems a little dark. Maybe too dark for a Bill & Ted Face The Music ending.
As the writing of Bill & Ted Face The Music‘s ending went on, both Solomon and Matheson felt, that while the previous two movies had smaller endings, they just couldn’t see audiences going for the trilogy ending on such a small, sad note.
Solomon went on in the podcast, “That felt too small. And if you look back at both movies, Bogus and Excellent Adventure, we had smaller endings that had to get reshot because audiences were like, ‘Come on, man! He’s let us down.’ We build and build and build. And then, like, the first movie ended in a classroom instead of an auditorium. And the second movie ended in a smaller venue. I don’t remember. But we reshot both endings. So we said, ‘Let’s be smart and know that we aren’t going to necessarily be able to reshoot this ending or don’t want to just reshoot it again.’”
Bill & Ted Face the Music is out on VOD and in movie theaters (if you can find one open). Give it a whirl, check out our most excellent review, then come back and re-read this article and see what you think. Which Bill & Ted Face the Music ending is better?
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Bill & Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively) first adventured back in 1989 in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The story followed two well-meaning slackers who happened to love metal, as they travel through time trying to learn about historical events for a history report they are writing. They are guided by Rufus (George Carlin) and come across many historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Billy the Kid, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Sigmund Freud, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The duo got a sequel in 1991 called Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. This story involves Bill & Ted doubles, Bill & Ted deaths, besting the Grim Reaper so they can live again, and starting their musical career. By the end of the second movie The Grim Reaper, Death (William Sadler) becomes a permanent part of the band.
Fast forward almost 30 years for Bill & Ted Face The Music. The boys are back in town. Now middle-aged adults, Bill & Ted have daughters and still, this many years later, still have not achieved their goal of creating music that the Utopian future will follow. Their goal is that by Bill & Ted Face The Music‘s ending, they’ll finally fulfill their destiny.