Strange Things Are Afoot: Bill And Ted Set To Return As Dad Rockers : The Record The most-excellent pair of Californian almost-rockers return after more than 25 years in order to — well, save the universe.
NPR logo Strange Things Are Afoot: Bill And Ted Set To Return As Dad Rockers

Strange Things Are Afoot: Bill And Ted Set To Return As Dad Rockers

Alex Winter (left) and Keanu Reeves in a promotional photo for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure in 1989. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Alex Winter (left) and Keanu Reeves in a promotional photo for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure in 1989.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

After 27 years, Bill and Ted are on their way back to close the time loop in a new film, Bill and Ted Face the Music.

In it, according to the synopsis, Bill and Ted "find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny." If your memory is as hazy as Jeff Spicoli's, you'd be forgiven for not recalling that, through Excellent Adventure and up until the tail-end of the franchise's second film Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted were decidedly heinous at creating music, despite the fate of the Earth depending on them, like, not being. Old habits die, it seems evident, with much difficulty.

"We have been working ten years to get this done in the right way," co-creator and co-writer Ed Solomon wrote on Twitter. In an interview last month, Keanu Reeves (Ted) said the film was first pitched to him and co-star Alex Winter (Bill) in 2007 and is now, while still in pre-production, currently being shopped at Cannes.

Where Bogus Journey centralized a parody of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal — pitting the dudes against a pale-faced Death over games of Clue, Twister and Battleship — the new film, Solomon says, is "kinda like A Christmas Carol with Bill and Ted." The pair are now middle-aged family men, perhaps still kicking around San Dimas. The difference this time is that — in a very post-Marvel upping of the ante — it's not the Earth that needs saving, but the entire universe.

In the years since the two films made them stars, Keanu Reeves has been conspicuously busy portraying, among other things, a puppy-loving maniac and a computer glitch, to great success. Alex Winter moved into directing television and documentaries, including Downloaded from 2013, which examined the effect of piracy and downloads on the music industry.

The original films' soundtracks were hair-metal worship at its finest — just look at the red carpet pics from one of the film's premieres back in the day to see a who's-who Los Angeles' louchest, enjoying a pre-grunge sunset. Can the world still be saved by sweet licks? A glance at our surroundings would suggest the answer is an emphatic probs-nah. Maybe the dudes pivot to DJ'ing this time around?