Beetlejuice is one of those hard to forget movies. It features Michael Keaton in a breakthrough role and filmmaker Tim Burton just as he was finding his directorial groove.
After Beetlejuice, Burton would go on to work with Keaton in the 1989 super hit Batman. Because Beetlejuice was so weird and popular there’s always been talk about a sequel over the years, but we’re still waiting.
Screenwriter Grahame-Smith was tasked with creating a Beetlejuice sequel, and he said he was going to bring back Keaton in all his ghostly glory. That was back in 2015.
Grahame-Smith recently shed some light on why the sequel never happened under his watch:
It’s funny, when I had met with Tim about it last, and we’re talking about five years ago at this point, the reason that it’s so hard to get going is because so many people love it and because there are 10 million ways to get that sequel wrong and four ways to get it right. It’s such a very fine needle to thread that I certainly like, didn’t get it there, on the script side. I didn’t thread the needle. There are things that were cool and some interesting ideas. I’ve certainly emotionally moved on from it and just said, “If it happens someday, it happens.” Yeah. Michael Keaton is just as relevant as ever and, and Tim Burton is just as relevant as ever, but you have to have both of those people excited about something to do it. I couldn’t get it there personally, as a writer, but maybe somebody else can.
A few years ago Burton released a statement saying that the movie was indeed happening with original star Winona Ryder also attached.
“The film is a go and has been approved by the Warner Bros. team, we have talked with the cast members we wanted for the film and they are all on board, this includes both Winona and Michael,” Burton said. “We have the script in hand everything is in place all we need to do now is get ready to start filming.”
Beetlejuice came out in March of 1988 and was an unlikely hit. It followed the story of a dead couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) forced to haunt a house they couldn’t leave. They ask Beetlejuice for help to remove the house’s new residents, but things quickly go awry.