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SYFY WIRE Bill & Ted Face the Music

Dean Parisot on the 'daunting' task of revisiting Bill & Ted 30 years later during Comic-Con@Home

By Josh Weiss
Bill & Ted Face the Music

Break out those air guitars, people!

Mere days after the official trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music dropped online, the folks behind the long-awaited threequel — Keanu Reeves (Ted Logan), Alex Winter (Bill Preston), Samara Weaving (Thea Preston), Brigette Lundy-Paine (Billie Logan), William Sadler (Death), director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), and original writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson — stopped by Comic-Con@Home to discuss the most excellent time-hopping project.

Even before the main conversation got underway, however, moderator Kevin Smith gave his impressions of the film, which allegedly reduced him to tears of emotion. At the risk of being censored, the Tusk director also revealed that Face the Music (which he described as "adorable") includes a tribute to the character of Rufus, who was played by the late George Carlin in the first two installments.

"It's daunting," Parisot said. "They're iconic [characters] and it's very hard to come back after 30 years. All of that was part of the puzzle of putting it together, but to contemporize it — to also bring these characters back in middle age and to find their daughters."

Set three decades after the titular duo rocked the world's collective face off in 1991, Face the Music opens with Bill and Ted trying to coast off their fading fame. They're all washed up, but have a chance at achieving greatness once again when a visitor from the future tasks them with writing a song that will unite all life in existence. With the help of their trusty time-traveling phone booth, their daughters (played by Weaving and Lundy-Paine), the Grim Reaper, and some of history's greatest musicians, they'll try and save all life as they know it.

"The movie was really hard, physically," Winter later explained, unintentionally harkening back to the story's theme of getting on in years. "The script was even more physical than the first two for Keanu and myself, especially." He characterized the film as "a piss-take of Dickens; of going back into your life and finding that each iteration of your life was worse than the previous [one]. Pretty damn funny and none of us had really thought about embarking on a journey of trying to make a third. Even that night, I think we all [thought] 'Well, this isn't really worth doing, no one really needs it unless it's really great and we could somehow, magically, hold onto the creative well enough that it maintained its integrity of that initial idea."

"I can't feel or laugh or do anything like the way that working on Bill & Ted does and working with Alex. That doesn't exist anywhere else in the world for me," Reeves said.

Watch the full panel below:

Bill & Ted Face the Music | Comic-Con@Home 2020

Face the Music does involve a passing of the torch to a younger generation, one represented by Bill and Ted's young daughters. Both actresses closely studied Reeves and Winter's body movements and mannerisms to accurately portray their children.

"I watched Alex's performance and tried to study his physical way that he held himself as Bill and tried to bring that into a more feminine [space]," Weaving stated. "[I wanted] to try and make her different, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

"Totally watching the movies," Lundy-Paine said of her research process, "but also the experience of meeting you guys [Reeves and Winter], becoming friends with you guys, but also secretly watching you all the time to see how you move your arms ... Billie and Thea and geniuses in the way that Bill and Ted are goofy and naive. That was sort of where we found and played with those differences. Billie and Thea are so goofy, but their goofiness leads to them spouting these things that you're like, 'What?! How did you know that?' It sort of led to the physical differences coming out of that."

Sadler, who is reprising his role from 1991's Bogus Journey, talked about how he sprained his wrist on his very first day of shooting, which involved the game of hopscotch we see in the latest trailer. Thankfully, all pain was somewhat forgotten when the old band got back together.

"The really fun moment was when Alex and Keanu... when we finally got reunited onscreen, and it was just gangbusters from there. It was like we'd never left off," he remembered.

Bill & Ted Face the Music rocks onto VOD and into select theaters Tuesday, Sep. 1. Until then, don't forget to be excellent to each other... and party on, dudes!

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2020.