By the time “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” landed in theaters in 1989, a lot of details had changed from the original version, including the title. “Bill and Ted’s Time Van” doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it. Not wanting to be accused of copying Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean, the van was scrapped in favor of a phone booth outside the Circle K convenience store.
That small tweak facilitated the title change to “Excellent Adventure” and served as an unintentional homage to “Doctor Who” and the TARDIS timeship. The new time-traveling vessel also just made the original film even more of a time capsule of the 1980′,s considering you would have to travel all the way to London to find a working phone booth today.
The first complete draft of the script already had Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan gathering up historical figures to help them pass their history final. The second draft added the crucial change that transformed two skinny, bell-bottom-wearing teens into the legendary music duo that had the power to unite all of mankind through the power of song. “We thought, ‘What if Bill and Ted were actually the most important people who ever lived?'” Solomon told Rolling Stone. “That really cracked us up.”
The idea that a song could save the world carried over to the long-awaited third film “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” which was finally released On Demand during the pandemic in August of 2020. That story finds the older (but not necessarily wiser) versions of Bill and Ted who have been procrastinating for years and still haven’t written the song that will change the future.