These script notes were donated to the Archives of Excellence by Ed Solomon.
These were typewritten notes from the Interscope with suggestions for the script.
Ed made a few notations in pencil on the pages as well.

INTERSCOPE COMMUNICATIONS

BILL & TEDíS EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

SCRIPT NOTES

April 5, 1985 DRAFT

1. SAN DIMAS, FUTURE

(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.

2. SAN DIMAS, PRESENT

(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 - itís Thursday and the reportís due the next afternoon possibly.

3. THE BOYS & CAPTAIN WILLIAMS

(p. 14) When Captain Williams now meets the boys, he tells Ted that heís been informed of Tedís likelihood of getting thrown out of school and he indirectly threatens him, but doesnít bring up Oats or the Military Academy, yet.  Itís more of "I donít know what Iím going to do with you, but you wonít like it."
(Question mark in pencil appears in front of #3)

4. THE BOYS STUDY

(p. 15-17) Tighten the studying, omit the girlsí forshadowing and intensify their fear of being separated.  Billís use of "egregiously," is this too farfetched?  Weíll introduce the girls more organically, as suggested below.

5. 7-11 STORE LATER THAT NIGHT

(p. 19) Insert the old 7-11 scene.  It forshadows Billís 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)

6. TIME TRAVEL

(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 Tedís house, the boys are elated to find they got Napoleon after all.  However, parked in the driveway is Colonel Oatsí 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 Tedís 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 break.

We suggest that the figures they need be:

Napoleon (who theyíve got)
Billy The Kid
Ghengis Khan
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 doesnít 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)

8. BILL 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 doesnít 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 movieís jeopardy that Bill and Ted come to believe that Rufus can do anything - and when theyíre in England, he canít get them out of that jam.  Also, when Rufus speaks, let it work for the movie.  If heís a teacher of sorts, let him teach.

(p. 49) There is a bit of redundancy in Bill and Tedís speeches to Billy The Kid - Ted, "It seems confusing."  Bill, "Soon itíll all make sense."

9. BILL AND TED IN MEDIEVAL CHINA

(p. 51) Good.

10. BILL AND TED IN EGYPT

(p. 56) Cut.  Use Walkman bit but as part of cavalcade.

11. BILL 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 heís 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 King Richard.

12. CAVALCADE THROUGH HISTORY

(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:

King Tut
Joan of Arc
Shakespeare
Beethoven
Lincoln
Freud
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)
Christopher Columbus
George Washington

We would also omit the boysí rejection of Charlemagne.

Additionally, the abductions should be as quick as possible, as in those on page 82 of Joan, Chris and Shakespeare.

The cavalcade should be 9 or 10 pages at most.

13. SAM DIMAS, PAST

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.

14. SAN DIMAS, FUTURE

We would again, go back to the original (p. 72 of first draft) scene from the first draft.  Omit their getting a tape, but letís 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.

15. IN THE PRESENT

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.

16. SAN 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 boysí certain demise (i.e. cutting their pictures out of the yearbook, etc.)  But we probably donít 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.

17. JAIL

(p. 101) The ticking clock needs to be reinforced here - perhaps Tedís 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 heís 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.  Whatís 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 donít see how he does it is too bad.
(Side note in pencil: "Dad, what do you think of me?")

18. THE 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")

19. THE PROM

(p. 115) Let the historical figures mingle here - itís 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 cheerleadersí reaction as well.  (Star penciled in front)

(side note in pencil: Pull back to reveal motorboat)

SOME GENERAL NOTES

1. Donít 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&Tís go back & get Rufus - so van shows up in the end.)

 

Go to Sixth Draft Variations . . .