United Artists Releasing
Thirty-one years after the release of the first film, Bill and Ted are back! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a hold on a wide theatrical release for Bill and Ted Face The Music, it didn’t stop the duo from virtually taking over San Diego Comic-Con. In one of the most anticipated panels of the weekend, stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler, director Dean Parisot and writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson talk about the film’s upcoming VOD release and what makes the panel that much better? The one and only Kevin Smith hosted it.
Before introducing the cast, Kevin spoke about the relationship between Bill and Ted and the influence on his career as he mentioned that you don’t get to Jay and Silent Bob without Bill and Ted. Smith also spoke about his first screening of the film before the panel and said that despite the film being a comedy, it’s incredibly emotional and “adorable.”
As the panel commenced, he asked co-writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson about how the film came to be. Chris took it way back to the creation of the characters in 1983 as he and Ed were in an improv group. They began playing two guys that travel through history, which ultimately became the inspiration for Bill and Ted. Solomon and Matheson spoke about the success of the original film leading to a sequel, which was initially titled Bill and Ted Go To Hell. It ultimately changed to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey as the studio would not allow the original title to stand.
When it came time to think about a third installment, the rumors of the third film had been floating across the internet for quite a while, and Alex Winter added that it was about ten years ago when Chris, Ed, and Keanu were having dinner where the first pitch was given to them about a third film.
In the initial process of the casting of the characters, Keanu and Alex mentioned that there was a rigorous audition process for them even to attain the roles of Bill and Ted. Alex added that his friendship with Keanu sparked from their shared lengthy audition process and they remain good friends to this day. When it came to casting Bill and Ted’s daughters in Bill and Ted’s Face the Music, Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine spoke about their audition process and how they had not seen the original films before the audition.
Director Dean Parisot was asked if there was any hesitation in taking the project knowing the iconic status of Bill and Ted. Dean called it a puzzle to put it together and to contemporize it while maintaining the nostalgia of the characters.
Smith followed up with asking everyone involved if they had a favorite moment of working on the film. William Sadler had the best moment – when he got to film with Keanu and Alex after so many years apart. Samara added that watching William, Bill, and Ted having that moment together was very touching for her. Brigette spoke about going through the history in the film and seeing all the musical talent used in the movie. For Ed, it was the day production shut down because of a hurricane, the whole cast and crew went to a 1:00 PM performance of John Wick, followed by a lunch hosted by Alex. For Alex, the first week of shooting and getting back into the flow of things, Alex thought to himself, “Bill and Ted are F’ing Back.”
To close up the panel, Keanu spoke about his favorite moment on the shoot. Reeves said there’s nothing like working on the Bill and Ted characters and working with Alex. He said for him, the laughter and fun don’t exist anywhere else for him, which I feel shows the camaraderie and friendship best between Winter and Reeves.
I had a terrific time covering this panel and it confirms one thing – September 1st can’t get here quick enough to watch Bill and Ted Face The Music.
Bill & Ted Face the Music | Comic-Con@Home 2020