'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' Was Nearly a Trip to Failure

Bill & Ted's Time Van? Certainly doesn't have the same intrigue as the 'excellent adventure' that the two half-wit rocker's went on, but that was nearly the name of the 1989 cult-classic turned mainstream darling.

If the original name -- and original intentions -- were to be followed, the film would have turned out much different. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon along with principle stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter said so much that the public saw was never part of the initial plan.

"The original impulse was that they were going to be responsible for everything bad that ever happened in human history," Matheson said. "Like, they caused the Civil War. They caused World War I. They caused the Titanic to sink."

Along with the jaunt through history, making a mess at every turn, the duo would have also been involved with Revolutionary France, Egypt, Medieval England, Pirates, the Magna Carta, Arthurian Legend, Charlemagne, Columbus, Hitler, Russian Revolution, and Richard Nixon, among others.

Reeves said that despite all of the changes so much of the original intention was there, adding that the teen comedy scripts at the time left much to be desired before he read for his role as Ted.

"This (script) seemed to be such an assault on that," says Reeves. "How do you not laugh at 'Beeth-Oven' and 'Noah's wife'? 'Non-heinous.' That's funny!"

Matheson even told EW that one of the popular kids would have been friends with Hitler, for some reason.

Not only would the premise have been very different, but the ending would have had a much more somber conclusion.

"We just bring the historical figures back to our classroom. And Keanu just sat on the desk, and watched them kind of talk about who they were," Winter said. "Then we'd go to the prom, and that's the end. Even while we were shooting it, we were kind of depressed."

Obviously so much of the movie was re-shot, including that ending sequence which spurred a sequel.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, for those that don't recall, did not go on the same time-traveling romp. It boldly chose to go through a life-and-death ride, filled with some terrifying experiences.

"In Act III, those fears came back, and were terrorizing them," Matheson said. "The Easter Bunny clawing through the van, trying to get in. Moses was going to part a bunch of cars and things like that."

The biblical figure portion of the brainstorming was also scrapped as it reminded too many of the historical aspects of the Excellent Adventure.

2comments

So much of the film was set to the side that Reeves joked the title should have been, Bill & Ted's Omitted Adventure.

For all the twists and turns in production, the finished product was decidedly non-heinous.