We finally have the official full trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music, courtesy of Orion Pictures, plus a new release date: September 1, 2020. And for those of us who are skeptical that the majority of theaters will have opened their doors by then, the studio will be releasing the film simultaneously on demand. That’s most excellent news all around.
As we reported last month, in the original 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school students in danger of flunking history. If that happens, Ted’s father will ship him off to a military academy, thus breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns. But the band is destined to usher in a future utopia, which is now threatened. With the help of a time machine in the form of a phone booth—provided by Rufus (George Carlin), a messenger from the year 2688—the pair travels through history, meeting Socrates, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln, among others.
The movie was a surprise hit, grossing $40.5 million against its modest $6.5 million budget. So naturally it spawned a sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), in which the boys must defeat their evil robot doubles from the future to preserve the utopian society based on their ideals. Among the highlights: Bill and Ted must play a game against Death in order to free their souls and return to Earth to win the Battle of the Bands. It’s a clear nod to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) where a man plays a game of chess in hopes of defeating Death. Bill and Ted challenge the Grim Reaper to Battleship, Clue, and Twister, easily winning every time.
The official premise describes the new movie:
The stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling exploits of William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan. Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.
An official teaser dropped in June, giving us our first look at what the dynamic duo has been up to since their bogus journey. Answer: not much. They’re having a bit of a mid-life crisis, with Wyld Stallyns reduced to playing gigs “in Barstow, California, for 40 people, most of whom were there for two-dollar taco night,” as the future utopia’s Great Leader (Holland Taylor) observed. We got a brief glimpse of William Sadler’s Grim Reaper and Bill’s and Ted’s two daughters, Wilhelmina/Billie “Little Bill” Logan (Brigette Lundy-Paine, Bombshell) and Theodora/Thea “Little Ted” Preston (Samara Weaving, Ready or Not). Bill and Ted concoct a plan to travel to the future to steal the song that saves the world from themselves after they’ve already written it. (“How is it stealing if we’re stealing it from ourselves, dude?”)
The full trailer opens with Bill and Ted in marital counseling with their respective wives, Princess Joanna (Jayma Mays, Glee) and Princess Elizabeth (Erinn Hayes, Medical Police)—although as the therapist, Dr. Taylor Wood (Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs a Marathon), points out, joint couples therapy is probably not what the princesses had in mind.
Hal Landon Jr. returns as Ted’s father, Captain Jonathan Logan, this time chastising his son about his “delusions” of having traveled through time. “Here’s a real idea for you: be role models to your daughters! Get real jobs.” But the duo is tired of trying to unite the world after all these years; Ted in particular is feeling discouraged. That’s when Kelly (Kristen Schaal, Bob’s Burgers) arrives from the future in a cute egg transport to bring them to the Great Leader. The Great Leader informs them that they must perform an original song by Preston and Logan to save “reality as we know it.”
Note the wording there: a song by “Preston and Logan,” not necessarily Wyld Stallyns. Clearly, the daughters have a musical destiny, too. Billie and Thea realize their dads are in trouble and resolve to help them out. So while Bill and Ted travel to the future in their trusty old phone booth to steal the song they supposedly wrote from themselves, Billie and Thea use Kelly’s egg to travel through time collecting famous musicians throughout history to be in their band, including Kid Cudi (playing himself). Bill and Ted track down the Grim Reaper and find him playing hopscotch by himself (and cheating). And it looks like Billie and Thea, like their dads, get into a bit of trouble and wind up dead. And in hell. But otherwise, you know, they’re good.
Bill and Ted Face the Music will premiere on September 1, 2020 in select theaters (i.e., those that are open by then) and on demand.
Listing image by Orion Pictures