After years stuck in development hell, Bill and Ted Face The Music finally got some good news last week. An announcement from Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter confirmed that the titular duo will be back in a second sequel that will be hitting theaters next year, and revealed that production is underway. Obviously we still have a lot of questions about the project, but one that has now been answered is that actor William Sadler will be reprising his role as Death in the comedy.
Like the aforementioned release date announcement, this news comes to us from the official Bill & Ted 3 Twitter account, which revealed the casting while writing "For those who have been asking, @Wm_Sadler will totally be reprising his role!" No details were offered beyond that, and we still don't know how big his part in the story will be, but we're still giving ourselves licence to be excited.
William Sadler's Death wasn't featured in the first Bill and Ted movie, 1989's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, but instead was introduced as an antagonist-turned-protagonist in the 1991 sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Over the course of that film he goes from offering to play Bill and Ted in a game in exchange for their souls, to being a key member of the rock band Wyld Stallyns - the greatest band the universe has ever known and the foundation of a Utopian society.
Twenty-eight years is a long time to wait before reprising a role, especially an ageless one like Death. Fortunately, William Sadler has an ally on his side: super heavy makeup. As you can tell from the image above, his face is going to be so covered up that you won't be able to tell if he's 30 or 60.
It's very possible that this won't be the last time we hear about an actor returning to reprise a role in Bill and Ted Face The Music, but, sadly, one character we know won't be showing up is Rufus. Though he was a key part of both Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, George Carlin passed away in 2008, and the new movie has decided not to recast the part. Instead, according to the official Twitter account, his absence will be a big part of the movie thematically:
Based on a script by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, and directed by Dean Parisot, Bill & Ted Face The Music will catch up with the titular characters not as world-class rock stars, but instead as struggling middle-aged dads who can't figure out how to fulfill their destiny. They had been told as teens that they were supposed to write a song that would save the universe, but they simply can't get it together. With the movie now filming, hopefully more details will be coming soon, including more casting announcements.