Any film with excellent in the title is doomed to fail under the weight of its own pomposity, right? Not where Bill S Preston and Ted Theodore Logan are concerned. Cult classic Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure sends the two airhead wannabe-guitarists on a trans-temporal adventure to complete a history report – and their time travelling adventure raked in a most triumphant US$40m at the box office.
Bill and Ted were given the power of time travel by future-dweller Rufus – played by comedian George Carlin – in the form of that now famous phone box. Originally it was going to be a 1969 Chevrolet van but it was deemed too similar to Back To The Future’s DeLorean. The fact that Brit hero Doctor Who used a phone box didn’t seem to fase Bill and Ted’s American creators, though. The van later made an appearance as the “band wagon” in 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
Remember Orion Pictures? If it wasn’t for them Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure would never have been completed, after the original production company went heinously bankrupt before its release. You can even see Bill say “1987” when reading the assignment to Ted even though the audio was redubbed “1988” after the film’s delayed release.
Originally Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of Bill while Alex Winter went for Ted – it would have been most non-triumphant if their complex and vastly varied characters were mixed up. Oh, wait.
The writers’ first encounter with Reeves and Winter came when they saw the pair walking into a McDonalds before filming kicked off. Not realising they were looking at the stars of the show, the writers said, “Those guys should be Bill and Ted!” – only to encounter them on the set later in the day.
Fancy a fun fact to finish? The scene where Bill and Ted are rescued from execution by their pals in a horse-drawn cart, is identical to the rescue of D’Artagnan in 1993 film The Three Musketeers. And who directed that? Yup, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure helmer Stephen Herek.
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