Most notably, the idea of Keanu Reeves even entertaining the idea of a Bill & Ted #3. (Yes, there’s been one sequel already. Don’t feel bad for having not seen it, no one else did either.)
But learning more about the project, it does seem sorta cool. Bill & Ted were always brain-dead doofuses, but they spoke for the slacker that was wasting away inside of Generation X.
Our weird little generation had nothing to fight against. Vietnam was over, Watergate was history… It felt like America was holding the reins to the world. The lack of struggle left a real sense of purposelessness in our weird little generation, a purposelessness that Bill & Ted embodied.
Even our signature 20-something movie, Singles, was basically about nothing but our own confusion over where we belonged and who we were. Kyra Sedgewick’s car’s bumper sticker summed up what activism in the late 80s and early 90s looked like: “Think Globally, Act Locally”. What did that even mean? The characters were working both locally and globally but what really mattered was their sense of ennui over what their generation would grow into. Would they form nuclear families like their parents, or would the grungy greyness of life overtake them and cause them to be aimless wanderers like the Beats?
What was the point of anything but fun and playing bad electric guitar, Wyld Stallyns-style?
So fast forward to Bill & Ted as men, real men in their 40s. Who would they be?
Keanu Reeves told GQ what he thinks:
One of the plot points is that these two people have been crushed by the responsibility of having to write the greatest song ever written and to change the world. And they haven’t done it. So everybody is kind of like: “Where is the song?” The guys have just drifted off into esoterica and lost their rock. And we go on this expedition, go into the future to find out if we wrote the song, and one future “us” refuses to tell us, and another future “us” blames us for their lives because we didn’t write the song, so they’re living this terrible life. In one version we’re in jail; in another we’re at some kind of highway motel and they hate us.
To me, it sounds a bit like what Reeves is talking about is that sense of directionless so many people experience in their 40s… Asking, What have I done that is good? and feeling the weight of the world crushing down on you. As much as you hope and plan and try, you don’t know for sure if your children are going to grow up to be really, truly okay. You don’t know if you’re going to have enough money to retire someday. You probably haven’t even totally paid off your stupid college loans, and yet you don’t know if you’re going to be remembered for anything great. You’re standing there, at the crucial moment in life where things are become inevitable, and wondering if you will look back at your life and see it as a success.
Or maybe I’ve just slipped into esoterica like Bill & Ted.
Either way, let’s hope someone takes Reeves’ lead and wants to make the film. Even if it’s terrible, it’ll still be great to see Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter back together again.
What do you think of the idea of a grown-up Bill & Ted? What storyline do you think would suit these two best?
What’s your favorite Bill & Ted moment?