Earlier this week I saw a bunch of people on my twitter stream retweeting a bit of interesting film trivia: That the 1996 Pauly Shore/Stephen Baldwin “comedy” Bio-Dome was originally scripted as Bill & Ted 3. I was surprised as I had never heard this before. A quick google search showed that the information wasn’t new, as it appears on hundreds of websites across the interwebs. The problem is that many of the webpages (which include some credible movie sites in the mix) provide the same minimal piece of info, and don’t expand upon the story. IMDB’s Trivia section (which, yes, is user submitted like wikipedia) has the largest explanation:
A third sequel was planned, but was canned after Keanu Reeves, and later, Alex Winter, declined to reprise their respective roles. The script, which had already been written, was instead modified slightly, re-casted, and recycled into Bio-Dome (1996).
It’s a cool bit of trivia, but does it even make any sense? Bio-dome takes place completely inside a scientifically created closed ecological system, and doesn’t venture from modern (1996) day at all. How could a script involving time travel be re-purposed for a self contained story like this? It smelled a little fishy to me so I decided to ask someone who might know… Alex Winter (the actor who played Bill S. Preston in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and later went to star and direct in the cult classic Freaked). He’d likely know something about this right? Find out what he said after the jump.
Peter: Did Bio-Dome really begin as Bill and Ted 3? Or is that just an urban legend that has spread throughout the years?
Alex Winter: Total urban legend as far as i know. No one involved in that movie had anything to do with Bill & Ted. So unless they were just going to try and reboot the franchise with that concept and different actors, I can’t see a connection… The only connection between Pauly and Bill & Ted is that MTV originally asked me to host the channel in the Valley character of Bill. I declined and we got the Idiot Box launched there instead. Pauly took that VJ post and did really well with it.
So there you have it: Bill & Ted 3 was not rewritten as Bio-Dome. Best I can tell, the producers might have been inspired by the time traveling stoners and went from there. Urban film legend debunked!
Alex Winter is in preproduction on the horror movie remake The Gate 3D, and previously was writing the screenplay for a remake of Rock n’ Roll High School for producers Howard Stern (yes, the radio shock jock) and Larry Levinson.