A few days ago, Alex Winter went on a bit of an excellent adventure when he found “an old hard drive” at his house. The hard drive contained some looks at Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure that movie fans probably won’t recognize. This is because they come from scenes at the start of the movie that are part of an alternate opening and ending that never made it to the big screen.
First and foremost, to understand the alternate opening you need to take a look at the images in question, which feature Alex Winter’s Bill and Keanu Reeves’ Ted playing around at a bus stop, where they seem to be confronted by some jocks.
The opening of the film and the very ending of the film both changed from what was originally scripted and even what we shot. The opening was an almost surreal rock number where Keanu and I are at a bus stop waiting for the school bus in the morning and we start to air-guitar and rock out. And it turned into a whole dance routine. Then it ends up with us kind of getting into a skirmish with the school jocks and you meet our characters that way. All of that stuff was shot and none of it made it into the film.
Winter also revealed that the dance number that was supposed to be at the beginning of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (previously known as Bill & Ted's Time Van) was a pretty big deal. They spent “weeks” rehearsing the main number at Stevie Nicks’ ranch. This happened because apparently the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman had a ballet studio there.
If you look at the one image featuring the jock, however, you’ll see a hint at the second ending plotline that Alex Winter talked about. He revealed, however, that the scenes were likely ultimately cut because Bill & Ted wasn’t trying to play into the usual high school tropes.
The movie isn’t groundbreaking or anything, but it doesn’t follow the standard John Hughes tropes of the school outcasts. I think that these scenes, in their own goofy way, played toward that. That’s just not what the movie is. It’s not, ‘Here are the nerds and here are the jocks, and they’re gonna get in the faces of the nerds.’ I just don’t think it’s what the movie was about at the end of the day.
Luckily, those scenes live on in the images Alex Winter found on his hard drive and if you are interested in more air guitar playing and other behind-the-scenes shots you can see more below.
To note, the final version of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure ends and begins with George Carlin’s Rufus. At the beginning, Rufus explains that 2688 is clean, “even the dirt is clean,” but that he had to go back and time to keep Bill and Ted on the correct path so that the world could get to that point. Then, at the end of the movie, Wyld Stallyns is playing pretty poorly but Rufus promises “they do get better.” There’s nothing about school buses or jocks and there’s certainly no surreal dance number.
But it does kind of make me wish that there was, although Alex Winter did say he’s worried the footage is “probably lost.”
Bill and Ted will be back in 2020 as Bill & Ted Face The Music is coming to theaters as part of the summer movie lineup this year. It was a long time coming and George Carlin's passing allegedly impacted the making of a third movie for a time. This time around, the two famous characters will be joining their daughters on an adventure and we can’t wait to see how it pans out.
Catch Bill & Ted Face The Music in theaters starting on Friday, August 21 2020. That month will also see The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard sequel and more come out. For more info take a look at our new movies release schedule.