‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Almost Involved Kidnapping Hitler
For better or worse, it’s become much harder to push the boundaries of good taste and humor in pop culture since the ’80s. There are arguably more points in the “for better” column, but here’s one that — despite its potential for hilarity — might be a little too difficult to get away with in 2018: A sci-fi comedy in which a pair of kind-hearted dudes/aspiring rockers go back in time and kidnap Adolf Hitler.
A plot like that would be nearly impossible to stick into a movie now, but it was almost part of an actual movie released in 1984: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the stone-cold classic starring Keanu Reeves (long may he reign) and Alex Winters. Way? Way. The pair have been trying to make a third film for decades with original writer Ed Solomon, who shared some interesting details about his script for Excellent Adventure — which was quite different from the movie it ultimately became. Put this one in the “for better” column:
In the earlier draft of the script that Solomon co-wrote with Chris Matheson, Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq. time-traveled in a van instead of a phone booth, and Rufus — the wise older mentor from the future played by the late George Carlin — was a 28-year-old sophomore student, and we almost got something called “Dogrufus.” Instead of hanging at the Circle K, Bill and Ted went to a 7-Eleven. “Strange things are afoot at the 7-Eleven” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Whilst traveling in this van, which is presumably airbrushed to hell and back, Bill and Ted encounter one of the most hideous figures in all of history:
They end up, say, in Nazi Germany, and after causing trouble, bring Hitler back to San Dimas. He’s stranded there and they go back in time again.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the basic concept was carried over into the final draft — sans the problematic, genocidal dictator. Hitler was ultimately replaced with Napoleon, “for a lot of reasons,” according to Solomon in a follow-up tweet:
Anyway, these original script notes are a fun way to spend about five or 10 minutes while we anxiously wait to find out if Wyld Stallyns will be properly reunited on the big screen (current status: not looking great).