notes were donated to the Archives of Excellence by Ed Solomon.
These were typewritten notes from the Interscope with suggestions for the
Ed made a few notations in pencil on the pages as well.
BILL & TED?S
April 5, 1985
(p. 2) Go back to original
opening - which is shorter, cheaper and more mysterious. When Rufus gets
his mission, the leaders make it clear that the crisis is at hand - tell him if
he fails, it could be disastrous for the world as they know it - and they
exchange worried glances. We thereby set the stakes for Rufus and the
boys, and establish that his mission is by no means a sure thing.
(p. 11) We can omit the
jocks as antagonists, making Mr. Ryan much tougher, an intense adversary who has
really had it in for Bill and Ted since time immemorial. Ryan can at this
point tell the boys their topics, leave the historical figures to them, but they
should be assured one will be "the short dead dude." Throughout
the script we should get the sense these boys have been unfairly
persecuted by Ryan at every turn. Ryan may say to the boys "now you know
your topics, and you know how much I want to see you fail. You
might even want to start thinking about extra credit." Or something
else that allows us to see him as the villain from the start. We also need
to set up the ticking clock better. Bill and Ted need to be
aware of when their report is due - it?s Thursday and the report?s due
the next afternoon possibly.
BOYS & CAPTAIN WILLIAMS
(p. 14) When Captain Williams
now meets the boys, he tells Ted that he?s been informed of Ted?s likelihood
of getting thrown out of school and he indirectly threatens him, but
doesn?t bring up Oats or the Military Academy, yet. It?s more
of "I don?t know what I?m going to do with you, but you won?t like
(Question mark in pencil appears in front of #3)
(p. 15-17) Tighten the
studying, omit the girls? forshadowing and intensify their fear of being
separated. Bill?s use of "egregiously," is this too
farfetched? We?ll introduce the girls more organically, as suggested
STORE LATER THAT NIGHT
(p. 19) Insert the old 7-11
scene. It forshadows Bill?s idea to get the multiples and it eliminates
the jock bullies, who are at this point superfluous. Adjust necessary
lines for follow through.
(Pencilled star appears before #5)
(p. 25) Omit the time
travelogue and have Rufus take them straight to Napoleon, who they now know they
need - we can still have them land in the middle of the battle, but get scared
to death by the cannon balls whizzing by and so forth. They beg Rufus to
take them back which he does and Napoleon can still end up on top of the van.
(p. 28) Adjust line.
(Pencilled star appears before #6)
7. SAN DIMAS, PRESENT
(p. 34) When the van arrives
back at Ted?s house, the boys are elated to find they got Napoleon after
all. However, parked in the driveway is Colonel Oats? academy van.
The boys go in, leaving Napoleon with Rufus. Inside, Ted finds his father
with Captain Oats, and maybe even Ryan, who could have engineered the idea of
Ted?s going to military school. Ted receives the ultimatum from his
dad. The boys decide that while time travel is most dangerous, Military
School is worse. They ask Deacon to watch Napoleon, and ask Rufus to take
them back in time to get the other historical figures they need for their test.
This would be the first act
We suggest that the figures
they need be:
Napoleon (who they?ve got)
Billy The Kid
King Richard, the Lionhearted (which
will allow us to use the English setting as an integral part of their mission).
King Tut would then be a figure picked up on the cavalcade. (Penciled star
at front of this)
(p. 36) Is the $20 the same
one from earlier on, or did the boys spend some of it on junk food - change here
from $20 to "some money"?
(p. 37) Omit scene, the Missy
joke was used before, the rest doesn?t add to the story. If we need a
transitional scene here, it should be the boys sneaking out.
(Question mark in pencil appears in front of #7)
(Side note in pencil: Grab some speaker from England)
AND TED IN THE OLD WEST
(p. 39) The history book
device opens us up to the paradoxes of time travel, an area we all want to avoid
drawing too much attention to. Also, the book says Billy lives to be 21,
it doesn?t say anything about Bill and Ted. For these reasons, omit it,
reinsert the bullet throwing if possible, and have Rufus save the day just as he
does. It could work nicely for the movie?s jeopardy that Bill and Ted
come to believe that Rufus can do anything - and when they?re in England, he can?t
get them out of that jam. Also, when Rufus speaks, let it work for the
movie. If he?s a teacher of sorts, let him teach.
(p. 49) There is a bit of
redundancy in Bill and Ted?s speeches to Billy The Kid - Ted, "It seems
confusing." Bill, "Soon it?ll all make sense."
AND TED IN MEDIEVAL CHINA
(p. 51) Good.
AND TED IN EGYPT
(p. 56) Cut. Use Walkman
bit but as part of cavalcade.
AND TED IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
(p. 63) This section requires
some invention if we introduce a new character (Richard the Lionheart).
But the thrust of the section should still remain on the boys being distracted
by falling in love. As suggested before, Rufus proves fallible here - he
did not expect what happens, and sends them off alone, an action that
should infuse them with some trepidation, but also allows them to make their own
destiny. Rufus should send them off with our sensing that he?s not sure
how to save himself, but that it is a vitally important thing that Bill and Ted
go on without him. The babes would not be in jeopardy, except for having
to marry against their will. If we use Richard, maybe we can have King
John and the Sheriff of Nottingham as the villains in this section. (pencilled
star appears in front of this paragraph)
We need to omit King Tut (p.
64) from this scene and so on until he is picked up in the cavalcade, and add
(p. 70) Does Rufus playing
Nerf football seem too casual to work considering the nature of his mission?
(p. 75) We suggest limiting
the cavalcade to the following characters:
Joan of Arc
Socrates (cutting his section)
(Side note in pencil: Cut pick ups down to 1 page)
We suggest eliminating:
Julius Caesar (and replace his
section with a short version of King Tut)
We would also omit the boys?
rejection of Charlemagne.
Additionally, the abductions
should be as quick as possible, as in those on page 82 of Joan, Chris and
The cavalcade should be 9 or
10 pages at most.
Once the van is full of
bickering figures, we would again go back to the first draft (p. 78) and
reinsert the back-end 7-11 scene with whatever adjustments it needs to match the
first act Bill and Ted scene #2. In the first draft, Rufus explains to
them how to work the van. We suggest letting a future San Dimas person
give them this information, for reasons explained below.
We would again, go back to the
original (p. 72 of first draft) scene from the first draft. Omit their
getting a tape, but let?s use the song, which is good, for the end
credits. It may help Bill and Ted figure out how to get home, but it also
gives away their identity as the musicians on the tape that Rufus kept
playing. They do need to figure out how to run the van, but they can be
told by a future figure. The first draft version is more mysterious and
funnier too. It will also save time to cut the song.
Bill and Ted should be more
aware of their time running out. When they lose the guys from Dennys, we
should be at our second act break.
The mall shots will be cut by
the exclusion of several characters.
DIMAS, PRESENT - SCHOOL
(p. 95) Intercutting to the
class should be done off Mr. Ryan (perhaps Colonel Oats also) who can be
gloating over the boys? certain demise (i.e. cutting their pictures out of the
yearbook, etc.) But we probably don?t want to give away our teenage
historical figures until we can play them against the real thing.
At the mall and onward through
the script we should make character omissions and changes where necessary.
(i.e. page 96 - Substitute Lincoln and a five dollar bill for Washington).
(p. 96) Omit the skating rink.
(p. 101) The ticking clock
needs to be reinforced here - perhaps Ted?s dad makes him aware of it.
(p. 103) The reprise of the
"69" joke needs to be changed. Bill needs to make clear the 7-11
connection when Ted asks him what he?s done.
Again, the reason for
reinserting the original 7-11 scene is to remove any doubt over whether Bill
would get such an idea, and also protects us again breaking the peculiar reality
of this piece for the first time in the third act. What?s great about
this scene is that it allows the boys their first personal success and lets us
see them as they will be - they actually will develop as people.
It seems vitally important
that Ted keep his father distracted, and that we don?t see how he does it is
(Side note in pencil: "Dad, what do you think of me?")
CLASSROOM - THE REPORT
We suggest a time dissolve
between when Bill introduces his first speaker and when Ted introduces
Lincoln. We also like the idea of Lincoln saying something like, "My
colleagues have said it all, except to say Thank You to Bill and Ted, for
this wonderful adventure . . . be excellent to each other" and so forth.
(side note in pencil: "What we have learned")
(p. 115) Let the historical
figures mingle here - it?s good stuff, and Rufus can take them back.
(p. 118) Cut to accomodate the
change on p. 115.
(p. 121) Cut the signing of
the tape and the marriage revelation. It slows down the movie where it
needs to be building to a crescendo.
(p. 122) Cut the Trans Am joke
which is no longer necessary. (Star penciled in front)
(p. 123) Cut the cheerleaders?
reaction as well. (Star penciled in front)
(side note in pencil: Pull
back to reveal motorboat)
SOME GENERAL NOTES
1. Don?t these guys like any
bands other than Iron Maiden?
2. Do we need the textbook at
all with them on their travels?
3. What happens to the van?
4. What is the time frame of
the movie? 24 hours?
(Side note in pencil: - Future
B&T?s go back & get Rufus - so van shows up in the end.)
to Sixth Draft Variations . . .