'Bill and Ted 3' Star Gives Filming Update

Alex Winter, who plays Bill S. Preston, Esq., in the Bill and Ted movies, says the long-rumored third film is in pre-production and eyeing a 2019 shoot.

The movie seems to be locked into the same pattern it has for some time, with preparations underway, and a shoot planned for the first half of next year. The big difference? It sounds like now they have the money.

"Well, we're in pre-prep and are set to shoot in early 2019," Winter told The Hollywood Reporter. "So right now, all systems are go. My old line when Blockbuster was in business was that I'd never believe a film was a go until the video was at Blockbuster. But I don't know what to say anymore...Netflix?"

Not long after the first official synopsis was released and Bill and Ted Face the Music looked like it was going to become a reality, Winter's co-star Keanu Reeves made some comments that chilled some of the heat fans were generating, essentially saying that the film was still looking for funding -- a consistent problem for years now. Shortly thereafter, Winter spoke at the Television Critics Association this week and told fans that despite Reeves's words of caution, the project is still moving forward a the same pace as it was.

The threequel, which will see a middle-aged Bill Preston and Ted Logan trying to figure out why the future they were promised has still not happened.

"The fan response has been enormous. It helped us get the financing because there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of us doing this," Winter said. "Even in the age of internet comment trolling, we haven't really encountered any pervasive negativity. The concerns that I've encountered are totally valid - don't screw up the tone of the first two, make it a real Bill & Ted movie. And the question of how you revisit these characters so much later, that I'm not concerned about, because we think the comedy works great. Not that I want the film to stall any longer, but in a way, given the plotline, the older we get the funnier it gets."

Bill & Ted 3 screenwriter Ed Solomon, who has been working on the project for almost 10 years alongside Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, recently revealed that they have Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) lined up to be the film's director.

The movie is centered around a middle-aged Bill and Ted going back in time to encounter their younger selves in footage from the original Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. That includes the legendary George Carlin, who played Rufus in the two existing films.

You can find the current synopsis below.

"They return to that scene at the Circle K when Bill and Ted first meet themselves, only now they're watching their younger selves and looking at the exuberance and joy that they had at that time in their lives. And they see Rufus, they see George Carlin..."

Word has been for some time that studios seem hesitant to back a Bill & Ted film that isn't a complete reboot-- but they are equally reluctant to throw money at a reboot, since much of the film's nostalgic appeal is wrapped up in Reeves.

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Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was released in 1989 and brought in a bit over $40 million dollars. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey brought in slightly less at $38 million. Each was created on a relatively modest budget, and were big enough commercial hits to spawn toy and comic book lines as well as an animated series.

Despite the hurdles to clear along the way, it seems clear from the internet reaction to each new wrinkle in the Bill & Ted Face the Music saga that there is still interest in seeing the duo return to the big screen. Whether that interest is enough to convince backers is another thing entirely.