Home Silver Screen Keanu Reeves Was Eager to Make ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ a Decade Ago
Keanu Reeves Was Eager to Make 'Bill & Ted Face the Music' a Decade Ago

Keanu Reeves Was Eager to Make ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ a Decade Ago

by Steve Goodman

You might assume it took really long to make Bill & Ted Face the Music (almost 30 years) since Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were reluctant to do it. However, this isn’t the actual reason.

Reeves and Winter were on board a decade earlier. So, why did it take about ten years to produce the third movie in the popular franchise?

The movie star Alex Winter along with Scott Kroopf (producer) Ed Solomon (screenwriter/producer) shared the journey to bring Bill & Ted Face the Music. The movie is currently screening in specific theaters and on VOD.

Why Did Bill & Ted Face the Music Start All Over?

The producers of Bill & Ted realized viewers really needed to see Reeves and Winter again. Unfortunately, it was hard to justify this to stakeholders and distributors.

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“One of the problems, I think, was the original movies went out domestically and didn’t really get a big broad foreign release,” Kroopf said.

So there wasn’t a lot of data, business data, about the movies. From a business standpoint, I think it was hard for people to kind of get it and also it’s a big gap of time. So we were kind of like out there in the wilderness with our deep belief in Bill and Ted.

Kroop and Winter figured there was genuine potential, mostly because they would always hear about Bill & Ted. Kroopf said:

There was a lot of Keanu and Alex and Chris and Ed knowing just through people talking to them, almost constantly.

The producer added, “Alex would be doing press for a documentary and they’d ask you a Bill & Ted question, so we knew it was there.”

Keanu Reeves was Eager to Make ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’

From the moment Solomon and Matheson wrote the screenplay to the period he was shooting Bill & Ted Face The Music, Reeves achieved box office success with his John Wick series. Therefore, he would definitely ask for a big fee to play a classic part.

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“Everyone who had a key creative role in the movie either worked for a fraction of their salary,” Solomon said.

This includes Alex and Keanu, [director] Dean Parisot, [co-writer] Chris Matheson and me and producer Scott Kroopf. So we all worked for only a fraction of our regular fee. Most of us ended up having to give even part of that back to the movie, either giving it straight back or deferring. I know I and a couple other people just gave money back to the movie without any deferment.

Kroopf stated there was a phase when Bill & Ted Face the Music stopped being a commercial proposition. Everybody committed to creating everything they believed in.

We had to work hard,” Kroopf said. “We had to get the script to be really great. There was a moment somewhere along the line where everyone stopped thinking so much about the business proposition and started thinking about oh, this could be really great. This is such a cool script. Suddenly, the door opened up a little bit, just a crack and then we barged in.”

The 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Bill & Ted Face The Music was scheduled for theater release in August. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the movie theaters shut down in March. Some titles, including New Mutants, Unhinged, and Tenet, are still releasing in theatres, but Bill & Ted provided a VOD alternative so that fans could watch the movie and remain safe at home.

“We didn’t want to make them wait anymore,” Winter said.

It had taken a really long time to get the film made. They’d kind of ridden shotgun on the whole process. They knew the film was done. They wanted to see it. We were very proud of it so we wanted to get it out on schedule if possible but we knew we couldn’t just stick it into theaters. The studio was really great and they agreed and felt the same way. Everyone worked really hard to figure out a release plan that would keep everybody safe.

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