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Unexpected sequels can truly take a franchise places it never expected to go. Last year’s blast of cinematic comfort food Bill & Ted Face the Music proved that point rather well, as Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves’ return to their legendary roles gave the world a good time that was deserved by all. Just as the world was wondering whether or not Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey would spawn a sequel way back at the beginning of the ‘90s, the world is now wondering if Bill & Ted 4 is just as much a going concern. According to Winter, you may not want to hold your breath.
That’s not to say that Alex Winter has totally written off another Bill & Ted sequel, but when I spoke with him on behalf of his participation in TCM’s Growing Up On Screen series, I was curious to follow up that very possibility. When we’d last heard from Winter on the matter, there was a great deal of uncertainty about a Bill & Ted 4. And while that’s still the truth, for the most part, there is some new information that’s highlighted a future direction that fans have been hoping to see happen. Alex Winter’s update on the Bill & Ted franchise is as follows:
I’m not sure. I mean we didn’t expect to return after the second one. We were really happy with where that ended, and we felt like it told the story, and we got in and got out. […] It was a really surprising thing for us to even want to go back and do. We had a really great time. So in short, I don’t know. We don’t have any plans to make a fourth, at present. I think there’s been some talk about maybe continuing the story with the daughters, and maybe there’d be some participation from us in something like that. But it’s all kind of out in the ether at the moment. We all basically moved on to other things.
If you want to call the lack of movement on a Bill & Ted 4 bad news, then this does sound like a bit of an update in that column. And to be honest, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves do somewhat tie off their characters with a pretty satisfying button, as we see Bill and Ted’s last day of life in Bill & Ted Face the Music. Then again, since they change the time stream pretty massively, thanks to their assistance in creating the song to save the universe, their fates may have changed quite a bit.
Though that does lead to the update that Alex Winter mentioned in his remarks above. Just as fans have been rallying around the hopes that Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving) would carry on the family adventures in time travel, it sounds like the folks behind the Bill & Ted franchise are having those conversations. With Bill & Ted Face The Music organically building itself as a continuation of the titular duo’s good-hearted time travel, there was also plenty of room for their offspring to have some wild adventures of their own.
All of this is much more encouraging than what Bill & Ted’s co-creator Ed Solomon said about the prospects for a fourth film last year. While he’s said it’s not happening, who knows what will happen? Though Billie and Thea do sound like the better option for a continuation, as the torch has basically been handed down to them, Bill & Ted Face The Music did spend quite a bit of time as the sequel that wasn’t happening.
Fans can at least be thankful that Bill & Ted Face The Music is available for purchase and rental, through all major formats. Meanwhile, Alex Winter’s documentary, Showbiz Kids, is currently available on HBO Max; and is connected with TCM’s Growing Up On Screen series, which runs throughout all of March. If you’d like to see that film, as well as not only Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, then check out HBO Max’s subscription offer, which gives you six months to enjoy the platform at a discounted rate.