Warning: Major Bill and Ted Face the Music spoiler ahead!
In hologram form, anyway.
About 15 minutes into the film, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) beam into the year 2720 alongside their new time-traveling tour guide Kelly (Kristen Schaal), daughter of the late, great Rufus (Carlin). As they enter a (heavily digitized) utopia under threat, they pass by a phone booth, from where Rufus — or at least a hologram of Rufus — emerges.
“Greetings, my excellent friends,” Carlin says. “What you’re looking at is the original phone that I used on my first visit to The Great Ones. Way back in 1989.”
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Winter and Reeves spoke about what sort of thought went into Carlin’s appearance (watch above).
“It was important to include Mr. Carlin and the character Rufus I felt, we all felt, in this story,” says Reeves. “What that could look like, I know [director Dean Parisot] worked very hard on that idea and what it would look like.”
“There were conversations, like there always are, about how much, or how little should there be of George,” Winter says.
As screenwriter Ed Solomon told Polygon, the filmmakers had originally envisioned a scene involving Rufus where Bill and Ted would return to Circle K to seek insight from him. That would’ve required heavy CGI usage, though, and the dreaded “uncanny valley” effect that can sometimes result from digital recreations of humans.
Ultimately, they settled on the hologram, which was created from archive footage from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure as well as additional voice work from Piotr Michael.
“I think they came to a good place,” Reeves says.
Adds Winter: “It felt like less was more, you know?”
Bill & Ted Face the Music is now playing in theaters and on VOD services; check Fandango for ticket and showtime information.
Watch Winter and Reeves talk about their latest journey as Bill & Ted:
-Video produced by Jen Kucsak
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: