Whoa! Leaked screen tests from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” reveal a baby-faced Keanu Reeves hamming it up with the competition for his role in the cult classic time-travel comedy.
The grainy found footage from 1986 — never been seen before by the public — shows the “John Wick” actor joking and roughhousing with Alex Winter, who would eventually be cast as Bill S. Preston Esq. opposite his Theodore “Ted” Logan.
“There were lots of people auditioning,” an insider who was on the set but requested anonymity told Newsflare.
Winter directed the recently released HBO doc “Showbiz Kids,” and Reeves obviously went on to major movie stardom in action blockbusters such as “Speed” and “The Matrix” series.
Back in the day, however, their competition included familiar flashback faces such as comedian Pauly Shore (“Encino Man,” “Bio-Dome”), Matt Adler (“Teen Wolf,” “Flight of the Navigator”) and Gary Riley (“Stand by Me,” “Ruthless People”).
But the chosen “B&T” duo’s obvious chemistry put them ahead of the post-Brat Pack.
In fact, the original film’s director Stephen Herek, 61, said he never really considered anyone else for Ted.
“It was right away with Keanu,” he told The Independent. “There was just something so f–king magnetic about the guy.”
The official trailer for the third installment in the enduring, endearingly goofy franchise — “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” due out Aug. 28 in theaters and On Demand — dropped in early June. However, it’s safe to say fans have been slobbering for this promo trailer since the B&T reboot was first hyped last summer.
“We wanna say thank you to you the fans,” Reeves, 55, says in the viral promo clip released when production launched in March 2019. “It’s all because of you guys and we owe you a huge debt of gratitude, so thank you — and be excellent,” Winter, 54, chimes in.
The official “Face the Music” plot synopsis: “Yet to fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends — to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.”
The sequel picks up where 1991’s “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” left off — but, of course, “the stakes are higher than ever.” Hey, it’s produced by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh and directed by Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”), so we wouldn’t expect anything less.
“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” premiered in 1989, introducing the teen buds who are on the verge of failing out of high school if they don’t pass their upcoming history report.
With the threat of Ted’s dad sending him off to military school — and breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns — as punishment, the pals recruit time-traveler Rufus (George Carlin) to help them ace the assignment. Along the way they meet a host of historical figures — from Sigmund Freud to Joan of Arc — and the rest is cinematic history.