Sequel to A Classic: "Beetlejuice 2" Is in the Works

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
February 25th, 2014

The incredibly popular fantasy film "Beetlejuice" is considered to be a classic film of the 80s, and fans have been pondering if or when a sequel will be released. Fans of the low-budget classic film may now have a reason to get their hopes up once again, as talks of "Beetlejuice 2" are now in the works.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The 1988 supernatural comedy "Beetlejuice" starred Michael Keaton as a raunchy yet lovable ghoul. The film brought in over $73 million with a budget of $15 million and was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Makeup. The film centered around a young, recently deceased couple, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, who begin haunting their own home after their death. They call on Beetlejuice, a troublemaking "bio-exorcist" ghost, to get rid of the awful new family that has moved in. The couple soon realizes that they may have opened a can of worms.

A sequel to "Beetlejuice" has been floating around for many years, but plans started in the 90s for a sequel that would have moved the location to Hawaii never fully came to production. Tim Burton hired screenwriter Johnathan Gems, who also wrote "Mars Attacks!", to write a script for a sequel in 1990. The title was planned to be "Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian."

In 2012, writer Seth Grahame-Smith began working on a new script for a follow-up to "Beetlejuice." Grahame-Smith will produce it with his partner David Katzenberg through their company, KatzSmith Productions. "When Warner Bros. came to us about it, we said the only way we'd do it if we got Tim's blessing and involvement, and we got that, and the star of the movie has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, and it's a true continuation 26 years later," Grahame-Smith said.

Sources have told "Variety" Magazine that Tim Burton is in talks to return as director, and Michael Keaton is in talks to reprise his role as everyone's favorite spirit. Burton has a solid relationship with Grahame-Smith, stemming from when Burton produced Grahame-Smith's adaptation of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," which may have sparked the flame to Burton's triumphant return to the director's chair.

When Burton was asked recently whether or not he would direct the sequel, he expressed his interest, saying, "I love that character, and Michael is so great in it. I always think about how great and fun that character was, so I just said to Seth [Grahame-Smith], 'If you have some idea about it, go for it, and then I'll look at it freshly.' In the past, I tried some things, but that was way back when. He seemed really excited about it."


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Keaton has never been shy about his admiration for "Beetlejuice" throughout the years. In his 2011 interview in "The Times," he stated that "'Beetlejuice' is 'incomparable' in terms of capturing the imagination of Tim Burton." Keaton and Burton worked together on "Batman" and "Batman Returns" in the 1990s. The actor has confirmed that he has been exchanging emails with Burton and Grahame-Smith about the early stages of the movie, and he has also expressed that he will only reprise his own role if Burton signs as director. Speaking to MTV, he talked about Burton's involvement in the film, which was up in the air for some time. "Now it looks like he is involved," Keaton said.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Winona Ryder is also in talks to join the cast of a "Beetlejuice" sequel. The 42-year-old actress confirmed to "The Daily Beast" that she has been discussing her place in the cast of "Beetlejuice 2," but she is sworn to secrecy. She has said that the sequel will not be a remake but, instead, will take place at a later point in time. Ryder has acknowledged the backlash among fans of the original "Beetlejuice" who are worried about Burton messing with a classic, saying, "It's a very precious movie to people, so there are a lot people like, 'don't!'" Like Keaton, she realizes that the sequel can only work if both Keaton and Burton are involved: "I would never go near it if it was not Tim and Michael," she said. "Because those guys, I love."

Rumors started swirling about a "Beetlejuice" sequel with Keaton and Burton in the fall of 2013. About that same time, Ryder began announcing her interest, stating that the upcoming movie is not a remake of the original and that it takes place 27 years after original "Beetlejuice" ends. Fans are already speculating and brainstorming plot ideas, although no official storyline details have been announced.