Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter recently made a surprise appearance at this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. They weren’t there to highlight Bill & Ted 3, however: Reeves was at the genre film festival to promote his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, while Winter was in Austin to support the thriller Grand Piano. Of course, the duo still offered some updates on the Bill & Ted 3 front.
In an interview with IGN, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter still seem very excited to make Bill & Ted 3 a reality. The only obstacle that’s in their way is finding money to make the film. [Oh, is that all? – Ed.] Apparently, the script is complete, but there is still no studio backing for the project. Winter, who retired from acting in 1993 to become a writer and director, explains:
It’s the wonderful world of film development. We could be making it really soon, or we could be waiting a couple of years. Look at Dumb and Dumber, that was on and off and on and off again. Because it’s not in your hands. We’re at that point now where we’re waiting on another draft and we’re number-crunching and working on line production. It could not happen at all, honestly you just don’t know. But there’s a lot of people who want to make it happen. We have great producers, but until you’re on set, you just don’t know.
When asked what the film was about, Reeves commented that it would follow Bill & Ted as two middle-aged men caught in arrested development. Wyld Stallyns is still trying to write the world’s greatest song, but after 20 years, the ideas are just not there for Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan.
Reeves and Winter both acknowledged that the tone of the film is much darker than Bogus Journey, while at the same time, there’s a sweetness to the film and the characters. I can’t imagine anything darker than Bogus Journey. Bill & Ted horrifically die and are sent to Hell. That seems as dark as it gets. About a year ago, Keanu Reeves said the sequel film would be something like Hot Tub Time Machine, in terms of its comedy. Bill & Ted’s sweetness and simple attitude towards life is what makes them so appealing to audiences, even 25 years after they were introduced to pop culture. When asked what draws people to Bill & Ted, Reeves said:
I think it’s clever. I think there’s an energy to those characters. I think it has a uniqueness to it. I think people were attracted to the hopefulness of them. The lifeforce of them. They keep saying yes. These extreme and extraordinary circumstances happen to them, and yet they are always in the immediate present. They’re fools in a classic storytelling sense, and I think it goes back to that hopeful lifeforce that is contagious. You root for them. And I think that turns into affection.
With late-in-the-game sequel films like Anchorman 2 and the just-announced Dumb and Dumber To in the market, there is good cause to think that Bill & Ted 3 will happen one day. Both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are more than happy to reprise their former roles, there’s a finished script from the film series’ original writers, and fans want to watch the sequel. It seems that the project has good people behind it and a solid foundation for success. The only question is, “When will the movie be released?” Maybe the filmmakers can turn to Kickstarter for support.