British Director Enjoys a Not-So-Bogus Journey
Peter Hewitt, Director ?Bill & Ted?s Bogus Journey?; age 28

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Photo by Rob Brown, USA Today

Driving a car wasn?t the most difficult thing London transplant Peter Hewitt had to learn after moving to Hollywood last year. He had to learn to drive the way everyone else in town drives: while talking on the phone.

Hitting the city?s notorious traffic as a novice driver may be risky. But it?s a small gamble compared to the one Orion Pictures took hiring Hewitt to direct Bill & Ted?s Bogus Journey, opening today. The sequel to 1989's sleeper hit Bill & Ted?s Excellent Adventure is Hewitt?s first feature film.

The recent graduate of London?s National Film School was selected by producer Scott Kroopf over 50 rivals. Kroopf had seen Hewitt?s school project, The Candy Show.

The 30-minute Show won Britain?s equivalent of the Oscar for best short film. But before that, Hewitt flew to Los Angeles to show the film to anyone who?d watch.

The trip "wasn?t so much to come over here to get a foot in the door as it was to just see the door," he says.

He calls landing Bill & Ted "absurd" and says he didn?t sleep for a week before production began.

Studio executives seem more assured about him. Touchstone bought Candy Show and is hiring a writer to expand it. And Hewitt is talking to producer Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) about directing the futuristic Wasting Wally.

Hewitt is also eager to direct a feature based on his favorite British comic strip, Judge Dredd. The rights belong to producer Ed Pressman (Reversal of Fortune) whom Hewitt tracked down and hopes he impressed.

Success has come so quickly, Hewitt says, that after a few months in Los Angeles, "I was ringing up friends in England saying come on over. They?re giving out films."

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