Bill and Ted Face the Music, the long-awaited third entry in the Bill and Ted series, hits VOD and select theaters (mostly drive-ins) this week. Many of us thought a third film would never happen, so it’s kind of a small miracle that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were able to reunite for more Wyld Stallyns action. Sadly, one original franchise player is no longer with us – George Carlin, who played the helpful Rufus in the first two films, and who died in 2008. And as it turns out, Bill and Ted Face the Music almost featured a Carlin cameo – in CGI form.
Technology has come a long way in the movies. We’re at a point now where actors can be digitally de-aged, and, in some cases, even return from the dead. But one film that won’t be bringing back the dearly departed is Bill and Ted Face the Music, though not from lack of trying. Speaking with Polygon, Bill and Ted Face the Music director Dean Parisot revealed that they were considering bringing the late, great George Carlin back in CGI form.
The initial plan was to have the modern-day Bill and Ted interact with their younger selves, and Carlin’s Rufus. The idea was to mix both unused footage from the original Bill and Ted as well as a CGI Carlin, but as Parisot tells it, it just wasn’t feasible on the Face the Music budget. “We probably could have afforded to build the Circle K set,” said the director, “but we were using footage from the original Bill & Ted. We would have had to create a CG George Carlin, which is incredibly expensive, and very difficult to pull off in a convincing way. We didn’t have the time or the money. But we had a great scene where they went back to talk to Carlin.”
In a recent /Film interview, Bill and Ted writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson talked about other deleted scenes from the film, specifically the way the script evolved over the years and certain ideas were jettisoned in the process. “We worked on it…it was 10 years from the time that we started, and 11 years from the time we started our first meeting with Alex and Keanu, before the cameras rolled,” Matheson said. “So in those 11 years, there’s a lot of drafts. And there’s actually a lot of really funny stuff in those drafts, that either conceptually didn’t make sense as the piece evolved, or just financially it was not affordable.”
Bill and Ted Face the Music opens in select theaters and through video on demand in the United States on August 28, 2020.
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