Mike Vukadinovich has been tasked with resurrecting Beetlejuice 2 from the brink of irrelevancy.
Deadline has the scoop, confirming that Vukadinovich has been drafted in to pen a new treatment for the long-in-development sequel. Neither Tim Burton nor Michael Keaton have signed on just yet, though Deadline is reporting that both director and star are interested in revisiting the genre oddity of ’88, possibly courting Winona Ryder back to the Netherworld in the process.
It’s worth pointing out that Burton and Keaton are currently working together on the live-action Dumbo that is poised to take flight at Disney, thereby joining a long list of reimagined fairytales that includes everything from Mulan to Jon Favreau’s star-studded rendition of The Lion King. For Beetlejuice 2, though, the project currently has Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg of KatzSmith Productions on board to produce, but beyond that, there’s not much to report at this early, early stage.
Of course, there are those who believe Tim Burton’s cult classic should be left alone, and any continuation would only be treading on hallowed ground. To his credit, Keaton has always been of the belief that if he and Burton were to have a crack at a sequel, it would need to honor the wacky spirit of the original Beetlejuice.
The only way to do it is to do it right. So much of it was improvised and so much was beautifully handmade by the artist that is Tim Burton. If you can’t get close to that, you leave it alone. There are certain movies that are like Indian burial grounds. You never ride over them. Bad s— happens if you cross that. You don’t touch certain things. They are sacred.
However that may be, Vukadinovich’s appointment is the first tangible sign of progress in almost 12 months. His previous credits include Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Sundance darling Rememory starring Peter Dinklage, so here’s hoping he’ll be able to pump some fresh blood into Beetlejuice 2.