Bill and Ted Face the Music is set to reunite Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter for the first time in nearly 30 years. For fans of the duo, it's been a long time coming and, based on the first trailer, the new movie looks to be everything those fans have been hoping for. However, there will be one piece missing when the new film hits theaters in August, because Bill and Ted will be without Rufus. However, the writers of the new Bill & Ted movie promise that while George Carlin won't be in the movie, he won't be forgotten.
George Carlin played Rufus in the first two Bill & Ted movies. Rufus was the one from the future who was tasked with making sure that Bill S. Preston and Ted "Theodore" Logan became the world changing musicians they were destined to be. Unfortunately, Carlin died in 2008. However, Bill & Ted Face the Music writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson recently revealed to Fandango there will be numerous tributes to Carlin in the new film.
A couple of different references to George Carlin were revealed. For starters, a character in the film will be named Kelly, who was specifically named after George Carlin's own daughter. It's unclear if this character will be connected to Rufus in some way, but that seems likely. That's in part because a second Rufus connection will be made in the film as a watch that's kept as a keepsake from the first film will, at some point in the new movie, reveal a message from Rufus, which reads, "Sometimes things don’t make sense until the end of the story." While not detailed, this is probably Ted's watch, which he forgets to wind in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
While George Carlin's Rufus wasn't necessarily a "main" character of the films, the importance of Rufus cannot be understated. William Sadler, who played Death in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and who will return to reprise the role in Face the Music, even said at one point that Carlin's death was one of the major reasons a third film hadn't happened years ago. Figuring out how to write a story that didn't include Rufus was a hurdle that needed to be overcome.
Odds are that the loss of Rufus is actually part of the story that we're getting in Bill and Ted Face the Music. The movie is all about the passage of time, as it will see the titular heroes, now in their 50s, having completely failed to produce the music they were told they would make which would change the world. Perhaps the loss of Rufus won't simply be explained but it will actually be a part of the story.
Fans have been waiting decades for a new Bill & Ted movie, but the one that we're getting could only have been made decades after the last one. We'll see the rest of the story, and say goodbye to Rufus, in August.