Earlier today, we spoke with Bill & Ted Face the Music star Alex Winter about World Kindness Day, which takes place today and which seems perfectly suited to the just-released third film in the Bill & Ted franchise, which hit DVD and Blu-ray this week. The philosophy of the movie -- and a line from the first film that almost immediatley became the "brand" for Bill and Ted's characters -- is "be excellent to each other," with the optional second part, "and party on, dudes." When we talked to Winter, he admitted that while it's gratifying to be involved with a franchise that puts so much positivity into the world, that it's actually writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson who should be credited with coming up with it, and building it into the next two movies.
A seemingly-throwaway line in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, the "be excellent" credo has made its way onto facemasks, t-shirts, and all manner of merch in the years since. And in a year as dark and angry as 2020, a major film release espousing such a philosophy almost feels seditious. As folksinger Phil Ochs famously said, "In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty." But, like Winter, Solomon acknowledges that philosophy was largely luck.
"It never crossed our mind" that fans would latch onto it, Solmon told ComicBook.com. "It never crossed Chris' and my mind that it would catch on like that. And we never even once thought we were trying to promote any idea. It simply came out of Bill and Ted's mouths one super late night at a diner in Westwood when we were rewriting the script. And we never even stopped. We kind of just laughed that that would be their words of wisdom that they made up as they were going along, and we kept going."
As to how the philosophy impacted writing Face the Music, Solomon said that the trick wasn't to insert a positive message into a Bill & Ted movie, but to avoid letting the world seep into them.
"We would have always leaned into that idea of basic kindness that comes from the Bill and Ted characters themselves, regardless of how bad the world was going, because that's the joy of being in the Bill and Ted mindset for us as writers," Solomon said. "You're in a frame of mind that's really lovely to inhabit. As the world started getting darker and darker, the only conscious thought we put into it was, 'Let's just make sure we don't allow ourselves to get cynical because this movie shouldn't have any of that,' just on a creative level. It was more like, 'Let's not let the world bleed into us,' than let's try harder to put this out in the world. We were aware that in a dark way... We were aware that the way the world was going was making this movie by contrast stand out a little more, but we didn't actually... It didn't change the way we did anything."
Bill & Ted Face the Music is available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms.