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Alex Winter (the erstwhile Bill S. Preston, Esq.) was talking about a new indie thriller Grand Piano he's in, so naturally the conversation went straight to the topic on everyone's mind (when talking to Alex Winter, at least): what's the deal with Bill & Ted 3?

The good news: it's happening. "When" is still a question, but he, Keanu Reeves, and the whole creative team seem dead-set on making it happen. And while the prospect of a third film in a comedy series produced over 20 years after the last installment might sound like a bad idea, you should be excited. Here's why:

 

1. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey is one of the only good comedy sequels EVER

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One of the main rules of comedies is that sequels are never a good idea. They just don't work - they range from awful (Caddyshack II) to extremely mediocre (pretty much everything). But the biggest issue is that most of the time, they just end up repeating a lot of the same beats and jokes from the first one (see: Hangover Part 2, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), making the whole thing feel like a cheap money grab that has no reason to exist.

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey was different though - markedly different from the first film, but with the same kind of tone and affection for the characters. Also, it's fucking INSANE. Bill & Ted DIE in the film very early on, are replaced by evil robot doppelgangers, GO TO HELL, defeat Death in a variety of games, SNEAK INTO HEAVEN AND TALK TO GOD, return to Earth, and travel through time specifically to get awesome at guitar. It's radical - but most importantly, it's DIFFERENT from the first film, while not sacrificing what made the first one such a blast.

They did the impossible once - if anyone can make a solid third entry in a comedy series, it's Bill & Ted.

 

2. They've got a great sci-fi comedy director at the helm

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While this could change by the time the cameras actually start to roll, as of now Dean Parisot is lined up to direct Bill & Ted's Radical Odyssey (a title I just made up, but...not bad, right?). Not familiar with Dean Parisot? That's okay - just know that you pretty much couldn't ask for a better choice.

See, Dean directed a movie a while back called Galaxy Quest, which should have - by all accounts - been terrible. It's the tale of a group of actors who comprised the cast of a very Star Trek-esque show being caught up in an actual space adventure. In other words, it was a meta-parody of Star Trek STARRING TIM ALLEN. And it was great! Tim Allen's fantastic in it. So is Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman and Tony Shaloub and (especially) Sam Rockwell. But the direction is what ties it all together - it's funny and exciting and ridiculously well-done.

His output besides Galaxy Quest isn't very memorable - but none of those other pictures (Fun with Dick and Jane, Red 2) had much behind them in terms of scripting. Bill & Ted's Awesome Voyage however...

 

3. The script is gonna be solid

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The last Bill & Ted movie came out in 1991. That's 23 years at this point - if they were gonna do a third, they certainly didn't feel the need to strike while the iron was hot. Hell, the iron's not even cold - it was sold at a garage sale years ago. It's not even there anymore.

The reason they never made a third film isn't due to the actors involved not wanting to continue or anything like that (lord knows Alex Winter could have fit it into his schedule if he wanted) - it was that everyone involved wanted to wait for the right story to come to them. Until recently, it hadn't.

Winter had this to say about himself, Keanu Reeves, and writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon:

"We'd be having dinner and we'd be like, 'is there a point? Is there a way in?' We'd kick an idea around and go no and we would leave it alone for a bunch of years. I guess about four years ago we had an idea together that we thought was pretty great. I think it was because so much time had gone by that it was great."

The people involved don't NEED to make this film. Keanu Reeves is so flush with cash, he was able to give away HIS ENTIRE SALARY on the Matrix sequels to the films' special effects department (sidenote: regardless of what you think of his acting, Keanu Reeves is pretty much the best dude ever). Alex Winter has found a successful career as a director, occasionally acting and doing voicework.

Currently, here's where things stand, again according to Winter:

"We've been working on drafts for the last couple of years. The script's been finished for a while, but comedy is so specific. We're in that world where producers are on, financiers are on and we're just working and reworking the script."

The people involved care about the script being stellar, that's for sure - as sure as Joan of Arc was Noah's wife (actually, a lot surer than that).