He’ll be back on our screens in May, but one of Keanu Reeves’ earlier films has a very important Birthday this year. Can you believe it’s been a whole thirty years since he first stepped into the sneakers of Ted “Theodore” Logan and went on a time-travel adventure? Well it has, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure will turn the big 3-0 in 2019. The film follows high school slackers, Bill S. Preston Esq and Ted “Theodore” Logan, whom dream of becoming famous rock stars with their band Wyld Stallyns. On the eve of their big history report, which will see them separated if they fail, the pair are helped by a strange man called Rufus who happens to own a time-travelling phone booth. Armed with the Circuits of Time telephone directory, the pair travel through history, collecting some of history’s greatest figures.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure might not be the most critically acclaimed film, but it does have a lot of heart. Bill and Ted are both so endearingly charming that you can’t help but fall for the pair. Granted, there might also be a couple of comments made within the film that wouldn’t fly in today’s society, but on the whole, the film, like it’s heroes, is harmless fun. I myself watched this film more than a little whilst at Primary school, can still quote it almost verbatim, and it has a very soft spot within my heart. I’m sure I’m not alone in this thinking, so here’s a few facts that will take you down a nostalgic trip through history. No phone booth needed.
1. That time-travelling phone booth was actually a van in the original script. It was changed as the filmmakers thought it was too much like the time-travelling Delorean in Back to the Future. Guess they forgot about Doctor Who’s favoured method of travel…
2. Another interesting tidbit about that phone booth is that it was given away in a competition. Nintendo Power magazine gave it away whilst promoting the Bill and Ted NES game.
3. In a pre The Matrix and John Wick time, Keanu Reeves often lamented that his epitaph would read “Here lies Keanu Reeves. He Played Ted.”
4. He may play the part of a Californian slacker perfectly, but Alex Winter is actually British. He was born in London and lived in the country until his family relocated when he was five.
5. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that all the historical figures Bill and Ted collect are on the blackboard in the classroom at the start of the film.
6. You’ll also notice (if you look hard enough) that Napoleon’s waterslide presentation during the report is actually a diagram of the French invasion of Russia. Ted remarks that he doesn’t think it’s going to work. In reality, Ted was right, as it was Napoleon that was defeated there.
7. Bill and Ted could have looked slightly different as Alex Winter actually tried out for the part of Ted, whilst Keanu Reeves tested for Bill.
8. The pair of actors were, for once in Hollywood, fairly close to the age of their on-screen characters. Reeves was 22 and Winter was 21. Incidentally, Reeves has basically not aged since that day.
9. Other actors that auditioned for the titular roles include Sean Penn and River Phoenix (for Bill), and Brendan Fraser (for Ted).
10. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is synonymous with two words, ‘Dude’ and ‘Excellent’, but how many times is each word uttered? Apparently, there are seventy dudes and thirty excellents.