After the success of 1985’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, creator Tim Burton became the hot new director in Hollywood. He was disenchanted by the lack of originality in the scripts he was being sent. Simultaneously he was working on a script himself for a little movie known as Batman. Unfortunately beyond paying for the script’s development, Warner Bros. wasn’t yet interested in green-lighting the caped crusader.
It was David Geffen who handed Burton the script for Beetlejuice. It was written by Michael McDowell who had worked with Burton before on previous projects. Due to creative differences Burton replaced McDowell with Warren Skaaren.
Originally Burton wanted Sammy Davis Jr. for the role of Beetlejuice. Also in consideration was Dudley Moore and Sam Kinison. Geffen would be the one to suggest Michael Keaton for the titular role. Though Burton was unfamiliar with Keaton he quickly became convinced that he was the right person for the job. And the rest is history.
Beetlejuice would go on to become one of Burton and Keaton’s most beloved projects next to their future collaboration as Dark Knight and director.
Since its release in 1988 the question has followed anyone involved with the original for their entire careers, “Will there be a sequel?” 35 years later the answer to that question is finally a resounding yes. We can say that Beetlejuice 2 is officially greenlit.
Shooting for a theatrical release date of September 6, 2024, Warner Bros. has confirmed the announcement. Burton will return as well to direct with Keaton back as the troublesome poltergeist. Joining them will be Winona Ryder returning as Lydia Deetz. Along with original cast members, rising Wednesday star Jenna Ortega will join as the daughter of Ryder’s character. Justin Theroux will also make an appearance in an unrevealed role.
The highly anticipated sequel will be released under the Plan B banner, Brad Pitt’s production company. Writing the screenplay is Alfred Gough and Miles Millar who worked with Burton on his series Wednesday.
In case you’re under twenty years old or currently reside under a big rock, the original Beetlejuice is about a lovely couple who also just happen to be dead. Their pride and joy, the home they bought and decorated is being overrun by a new family. As newly formed spirits they attempt to scare the family into fleeing the property but to no avail. As with the living and the dead, sometimes it takes a professional to get the job done. For better or worse, mostly worse, they seek the help of Beetlejuice. Hijinks ensue.
Aside from the minimal casting news, little is known about the upcoming sequel.
Let us know, are you excited for another romp with the undead? Or is this just one more cash grab by Hollyweird? Maybe both? I guess we’ll see in September 2024.
Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!