It’s that time of year again when someone connected to the 1988 cult comedy, Beetlejuice, comes out of the woodwork to offer a brief soundbite on its languishing sequel. This month, it’s Michael Keaton. During an interview with Deadline to discuss his recently-released flick Birdman, he updated the film world on the status of the eagerly-awaited Beetlejuice 2.
“Tim Burton and I have emailed about it. We’re both in the same situation (of always being busy on other projects). Neither one of us gets tired of the conversation Tim says he’s working on something, then goes away for a while. At some point, someone is going to say we really want to do it. You don’t want to fuck it up, so it has to be perfect.”
As is usually the case when Keaton works the press circuit, roving reporters tend to question him on the role that still stands as one of his quirkiest, stand-out performances. Talk on Beetlejuice 2 has persisted since the first flick bowed back in the late eighties, yet somehow it hasn’t snagged the greenlight. The changing tide came last year, however, when it was revealed that Tim Burton was definitely on track to direct. Of course, another Beetlejuice simply wouldn’t work without Keaton or Winona Ryder. Luckily, they’re both ready to sign on the dotted line once the script is in place.
Currently, Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and David Katzenberg (The Goldbergs) are co-writing the script and have been tapped to also produce. Burton and Keaton have made mention that their involvement hinges on the story and the screenplay; but… didn’t Grahame-Smith finish it nearly two years ago? If he did complete a first draft back in March 2013, it’s likely that the reason Katzenberg came aboard was to collaborate on the next subsequent version. Either way, it’s all been rather quiet on the Beetlejuice 2 front for some time. If Keaton, Burton, and Ryder are still game, then why aren’t the wheels in motion?