Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter easily slipped back into their roles of the beloved time-traveling slackers after nearly 30 years in Bill & Ted Face the Music, and then some — playing alternate versions of their characters that could have been. But in another timeline, there could have been a very different ending to Bill & Ted Face the Music, co-writer Ed Solomon revealed. Several, in fact, and one including… Santa Claus?
Spoilers for the ending of Bill & Ted Face the Music below.
In an interview with Collider, Solomon revealed the original ending that he and co-writer Chris Matheson had first drafted for Bill & Ted Face the Music, all the way back in 2010. It would have been quite a departure from the ending we have now, which ends with Bill and Ted’s daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) writing the song that unites the world, with Bill and Ted helping to spread the music through a big cosmic concert on a freeway that occurs in all all timelines at once. That same premise applied to Solomon and Matheson’s original ending, but with a few key differences, Solomon revealed:
“Our first draft that we wrote in 2010, the ending of the movie was really small. We had a scene at the beginning where 20 years ago they had put $100,000 down to rent the Rose Bowl for their triumphant 20th Reunion Tour, and when we meet them in the movie when it opens they have sold literally zero tickets. We had a scene where they went to negotiate with the guy to try and get their money back and the guy was like, ‘No, you’re stuck’. The whole movie was moving towards this ending, and the guys were thinking, ‘Well obviously it must be at the Rose Bowl. Obviously we’re gonna fill the Rose Bowl with this triumphant song, we just don’t know how.’ And the whole movie happens like it happens [in Face the Music], they go into the future, their lives get worse and worse, and they arrive at the Rose Bowl and it’s empty. There’s no instruments there. It didn’t happen. They failed. And they go home and they sit down in their living room, and you’re like one minute from the end of the movie. And they realize they failed, they feel like they failed, and then they hear music coming from the other room and they walk in and they look and see their kids and they realize it was never them, and the movie’s over.”
Well, that’s kind of a bummer, and not the sweet, humanity-uniting salve that we got in the finished movie. And Winter and Reeves agreed, telling Solomon and Matheson, “‘Uh, that’s sort of a bummer,’” Solomon recalled with a laugh. So the writing duo changed it over the years, eventually landing on one that was a little more cheerful and less cynical. But Solomon revealed that he and Matheson never intended for Bill and Ted to be the one that would write the humanity-uniting song, because it was an “impossible task and we’re setting ourselves up for failure.”
“The script transitioned quite a few times over the years, especially the end. The irony of it all was figuring out what the song was came down to the final minute as well,” Solomon said. “…So we gradually started to realize, when we were trying to figure out how do we get out of that idea gracefully, that okay it’s not gonna be about the quality of the song per se, it’s gonna be about the fact that everyone plays it together.”
Any other alternate ideas or endings as Solomon and Matheson tweaked the script over the years? There was one where “Bill and Ted and the Princesses on Santa’s sleigh using Santa magic because Santa can go around the world in one night,” Solomon teased, but “that did not last.”
Now that one we would love to see.
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