Bill & Ted Excellent Adventure, which stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, was released in 1989. It was rated PG at that time which was deemed appropriate for all audiences with parental guidance. In the film, both Bill and Ted travel through time and meet historical figures for their high school history report.
After the third instalment of the franchise, Bill & Ted Face The Music, the original films are upgraded to 4k edition and are now available on streaming services. Interestingly, the 4K edition of the original film has a disclaimer that reads: “This film reflects historical attitudes which audiences might find outdated or offensive.”
However, the warning did not specify which scenes might be outdated or offensive. Alex Winter, who plays the role of Bill in the film, explained that the warning is alluding to some of the homophobic slurs that were common during the 80’s era. Although Bill and Ted are accepting and loving guys, were teens of the ’80s, and would call each other the F word if they expressed too much affection for one another.
During an interview with Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves explained about the disclaimer added in the 4K edition of Bill & Ted Excellent Adventure. Winter said to Simon Mayo, “In terms of the caveat, that would only refer to the homophobic slurs that we had in both of the first two movies which we were extremely common but totally disparaging and not appropriate terminology back then. Other than that, the first movies are extremely wholesome. I think the third one stays in line with that whole vibe. I would hardly look at the first two movies being radical, offensive films other than that, which no one was happy about. We certainly didn’t intend to repeat.”
However, the latest instalment Bill & Ted Face the Music didn’t see the characters using such language, as they would have outgrown such language too.
“All of the films have been made in an attempt to reflect the world around them and put the characters into the world around them. A lot of the comedy comes from how much Bill and Ted live in their imagination and how, in some ways, they’re really out of time and out of step with the world around them, and then they’re thrust into the world and history. I think there was very much a desire to bring Bil land Ted into adulthood. There wasn’t an attempt to make the film politically correct,” Winter added.
Keanu Reeves also weighed in on the warning. He said, “I guess it’s a product that’s going out into the world. I guess it’s kind of reflecting some of the content and letting somebody who’s watching the film know exactly that, so they’re not taken by surprise by it.”