Never-seen-before audition tapes from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure reveal a young Keanu Reeves goofing around with the actor who was competing for the role of Ted Theodore Logan in the classic comedy.
The grainy tapes from 1986, which have never been seen before by the public, show a 22-year-old Reeves joking and roughhousing with Alex Winter, who would eventually be cast as his costar, Bill S. Preston Esq.
Winter and Reeves’ competition for the coveted roles of metalhead slackers included Gary Riley (Stand By Me), Pauly Shore (Bio-Dome) and Matt Adler (Teen Wolf).
But sources tell DailyMail.com that much of the instant chemistry and laughter came about when Reeves and Winter were in the same scenes and it was obvious they were perfect for the parts.
‘There were lots of people auditioning,’ a source who was on the set told DailyMail.com. ‘Keanu, from the beginning it was clear that this guy was head and shoulders above the rest.’
‘We always knew Keanu would be Ted Theodore Logan,’ the source tells DailyMail.com.
‘Then Alex and Keanu kind of picked each other, they found each other in the big waiting room on day one and they started hanging out together, taking lunch together and they became buddies.
‘They were an absolute joy to work with, it was a huge amount of fun making the picture. We had an excellent time.
‘Keanu was the leader and Alex followed, they ad-libbed a lot and really vibed together.’
The hilarious, 34-year-old footage includes the first time Reeves and Winter enthusiastically strummed their air guitars in unison, which would become a signature feature of the movie and its 1991 sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
The metalhead slacker friends have now reunited for the third installment of the time-travel comedy franchise in Bill & Ted Face the Music, which will hit theaters and streaming platforms on September 1.
In the new movie the now middle-aged William ‘Bill’ S. Preston Esq. and Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan embark on a quest to write a song to bring harmony in the universe and preserve life as they know it.
‘If Keanu and Alex had not found each other we might have cast Gary Riley but I don’t think Bill & Ted would have turned into what it did, and I don’t think we’d be about to see a third movie,’ said the source.
‘Without Keanu and Alex you might not have heard of Bill or Ted.’
Reeves has been keeping busy with his John Wick franchise, voicing a character in Toy Story, as well as reprising his role as Neo in the Matrix.
The Matrix 4 will be released in 2021 and production began in early January with Lana Wachowski returning as co-writing and director.
The Matrix 4 sees a return to the dystopian world of Neo and Trinity alongside characters played by Jada Pinkett Smith, Jonathan Gross and Priyanka Chopra.
Details of the plot in the fourth Matrix film have been kept under wraps, so it is unclear how Neo and Trinity will feature in the forthcoming flick.