With the release, coming tomorrow, of Bill and Ted Face the Music, the film's writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon -- who created the characters and wrote the first two films in 1989 and 1991, as well -- did not pay a visit to any of the previous stops along Bill and Ted's path as they wrote and produced the screenplay which will serve as their likely swan song for the characters. The movie -- which opens in theaters and will be available digitally tomorrow -- follows Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, in which a pair of slacker high school students travel through time in order to collect historical figures to help them pass a history report.
Excellent Adventure revealed that the pair would change the world for the better with their music, while Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, released two years later, saw the characters murdered and sent to Hell, where they outwitted the Grim Reaper and managed to return to life, with the Reaper by their side and, eventually, playing bass for the band. It's Excellent Adventure's prophecy of their greatness that Bill and Ted will have to address in the new film, but it is also full of references that fans will likely perceive as references to Bogus Journey. According to the writers, that's because they wanted to make sure the characters' arcs made sense -- but it isn't necessarily a specific reference to a specific line that's important.
"I think we wanted there to be, if possible, a throughline between the movies, so that they felt like the same guys to us pretty much," Matheson told ComicBook.com. "A lot of years have passed, but the guys they were at 19..they move, you know? So, not consciously, I don't remember us saying, 'Hey...'" Because when we set out to write this, we didn't go back and watch the first two movies at all....So it wasn't that specific."
That prompted Solomon to ask Matheson whether he thought they should have watched the first two movies again, and what kind of difference, if any, it might have made.
"I'm glad we didn't actually, because I think it might have inhibited us in some ways, and I think we just were doing it intuitively...like, 'Who are Bill and Ted to us?' And I think that worked out, I think pretty well. But maybe it would have been great if we'd watched the first two. We just didn't even think of it. We didn't even talk about it."
Bill and Ted Face the Music will be in theaters and on-demand tonight. You can read our review at 7:30 p.m. ET on ComicBook.com.