Somebody Found Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves's Bill & Ted Audition Tapes

While the Wyld Stallyns' desire to have Eddie Van Halen playing guitar in their band remained intact, audition tapes from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reveal that in between casting and production, a lot of other things changed. For starters, in the video above, Keanu Reeves plays Bill S. Preston, Esquire, while Alex Winter plays Ted "Theodore" Logan. The difference is striking, as the chemistry between the two actors remains largely intact, but the somewhat more assertive personality that Bill has is delivered with a much harder edge out of Reeves than his version of Ted would turn out to be.

The tapes were tracked down by someone who provided them to the Daily Mail. There are actually two of them -- the first of which is the most interesting, if only for the role-reversal, and how harsh Bill can be toward Ted.

You can check the video out above. It's a fun trip through time -- in more ways than one -- although the ill-advised mutual "f-g" between the pair when they hug was not only in the earliest drafts of the movie, but was used in the auditions.

The next set is a little bit more on brand; it's a lot less confrontational, and more mellow, and the Reeves/Winter role swap has taken place. You can check that out below.

During their Comic Con International panel this year, creators and writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson said that they themselves had played Bill and Ted in some sketch comedy material they had written before the film, and so were extremely skeptical about the studio being in charge of casting. They supposedly saw Reeves and Winter in line ahead of them at a McDonald's, goofing around and being themselves, and lamented that the studio would never hire somebody like that -- only to meet them officially -- later that day at an audition.

Following the surprise blockbuster that was 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Winter and Reeves returned to their title roles for 1991's Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Since then, the pair -- as well as writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson -- have consistently had to field questions about the possibility of a third movie featuring the characters, a pair of slackers who discover that in the future, world peace is achieved as a result of the music of Wyld Stallyns, a rock band they founded in their garage.

In the first film, a time-traveler named Rufus (George Carlin) allowed the pair to use a time machine that gave them a leg up on passing an important high school history presentation. The second film saw them killed and sent to Hell, where they had to defeat the Grim Reaper in order to be revived.

In the third film, Bill & Ted Face the Music, the now-middle-aged Bill and Ted have not yet written the song that kickstarts their world-altering careers, and the future is getting anxious. As reality starts to unravel, there is a literal ticking clock on Bill and Ted to fulfill their destiny. The pair elect to time-travel to the future -- or more accurately various alternate futures -- to steal the song from their future selves and set the timestream on the right path. Hal Landon, Jr. returns as Ted's father, Amy Stoch as his stepmother (who was Bill's stepmother in the first film), and The Flash veteran William Sadler reprises his role as Death, the Grim Reaper who is really bad at basically every game he tries to play -- but pretty killer on bass.


Solomon and Matheson wrote Bill & Ted Face the Music, which was directed by Galaxy Quest's Dean Parisot.

Are you excited to se Bill and Ted back in action? Chime in below or hit @russburlingame up on Twitter to talk about all things Wyld Stallyns!