SPOILER ALERT! The following story discusses important plot points and the ending of “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.
After more than 30 years and three time-traveling “Bill & Ted” films, the destiny was fulfilled for a song that would unite the world and save all reality – though it wasn’t exactly Bill and Ted who were responsible.
In the new movie “Bill & Ted Face the Music” (now available on streaming and VOD platforms) that wraps up an excellent trilogy, Alex Winter’s Bill and Keanu Reeves’ Ted visit versions of their future selves trying to find the prophesied tune that they’ve been trying to write since the 1990s.
In the end, though, the song comes from the combined efforts of the twosome’s musical-genius daughters, Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving), and their awesome band of historical figures (including Mozart, Louis Armstrong and Jimi Hendrix), with the help of Bill and Ted playing infinite roadies and outfitting people throughout time with instruments so they can all play at once.
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Billie and Thea being the eventual chosen ones was something “that’s maybe the very first thing we knew,” says Chris Matheson, who’s written every “Bill & Ted” movie with Ed Solomon. “We’re both dads. We thought it was wonderful. I mean, the idea that it was, like, your kids? Oh, my God, that’s fantastic. That’s beautiful.”
The writers discuss with USA TODAY a fun set of cameos and probably the very last image of Bill and Ted:
The ‘Bill & Ted’ creators went to hell
Matheson and Solomon have had cameos in every “Bill & Ted” movie, playing Ugly and Stupid Waiters in 1989’s “Excellent Adventure” and Ugly and Stupid Seance Members in 1991’s “Bogus Journey.” The running joke continues in “Face the Music,” where they’re Ugly and Stupid Demons who Bill and Ted walk by when they make a return trip to hell.
“We didn’t have any money so we had to shoot us in location as we were, without makeup,” Matheson jokes about their demonic personas, with Solomon chiming in, “That’s just what we look like.”
They originally wrote themselves into one of Bill and Ted’s future scenes, where our heroes have a run-in with a Bill and Ted sporting faux British accents at a mansion owned by Dave Grohl (playing himself). “We gave ourselves pretty tasty little parts, basically homeless guys who (future) Bill and Ted had hired to pretend to be fake butlers and bring the champagne and speak in fake English accents,” Matheson explains. “We got kind of close but it was like, ‘Yeah, there’s no room for those butler characters, sorry.”’
At the last minute, director Dean Parisot suggested they play demons. “I think Dean was worried we were going to ruin the movie,” Solomon quips.
Their hellish scene came as the last shot of the night and “everyone was exhausted,” Matheson says. They spent hours in makeup, though the most surreal experience was sharing screen time with Winter and Reeves. “It was very strange acting with them. And I was scared out of my mind.”
Elderly Bill and Ted rock out one last time
During the movie, Bill and Ted travel to 2067 San Dimas, where their very old selves are lying in bed at Peaceful Pastures nursing home. And that’s also where the audience goes after the “Face the Music” credits roll for a final coda with elderly Bill and Ted.
“Dude, are you dead yet?” Bill asks. When Ted’s not, Bill tells him, “There’s one more thing we need to do.” Out of bed and in pajamas, Ted grabs his Flying V electric guitar and Bill gets his red Gibson before they turn up the amps and unleash a most righteous shredding session. “We still got it!” Bill exclaims before going for a high-five where Ted knocks his bud’s shoulder out of wack.
“OK, I have to sit down. I’m sorry,” Bill says. Ted counters, “That was fun,” and then Bill cries out, “Nurse!” as the movie ends.
“It was fun to play all these different colors of the characters through the other versions of ourselves,” Winter says.
In the final scene, “they get up out of their deathbeds,” Matheson says. “I mean, literally we might be watching them in their final 90 seconds of life. They’re just going to do this one last time and then they’re going to go.”
Adds Solomon: “We wanted them to go out doing what they came in in the very first movie doing, which is playing for fun, for no reason other than the joy of playing. That seemed appropriate.”