On the Reel: Is ‘Beetlejuice 2′ coming soon?

Michael Keaton may return as Beetlejuice in the sequel to the 1988 Tim Burton film. -Photo courtesy of Flickr user Sweet Honey Pie

 

If all goes according to plan, it looks like Tim Burton will reunite with Michael Keaton for the long awaited  “Beetlejuice 2.” While doing interviews and promotions for the newly released “RoboCop” reboot, Keaton told MTV about his and Burton’s involvement in the sequel to the 1988 fan-favorite film.

“Now, it looks like [Burton] is involved,” Keaton said. “And without giving too much away, we’ve talked to each other and emailed each other and if he’s in, it’s going to be hard not to be in.”

News of the proposed sequel first rippled in 1990 when Burton tasked several screenwriters (Kevin Smith among them) with a sequel titled “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian.”  Thankfully that never happened and Burton made “Batman Returns” instead (phew!!). The project sat in development hell at Warner Bros. Studios until November 2013 when comments surfaced from Winona Ryder who played Lydia Deets in the original film.

“I’m kind of sworn to secrecy,” Ryder told The Daily Beast. “But it sounds like it might be happening. It’s not a remake. Its like 27 years later. And I have to say I love Lydia so much. She was such a huge part of me. I would be really interested in seeing what she is doing 27  years later.”

With the above statements and The Wrap’s 2013 report of Burton being officially involved in the production of a sequel, it is safe to assume that Beetlejuice 2 will be Burton’s next film. This seems like perfect timing, especially due to Keaton’s reemergence in his acting career (not only appearing in “RoboCop” but starring in the upcoming “Birdman” from “21 Grams” director Alejandro González Iñárritu later this year).

“Beetlejuice 2″ has been plagued by development rumors for such a long time that most fans thought a sequel would never happen at all. To be honest, I’m glad that Tim Burton has waited this long (almost 30 years) to produce a legitimate sequel as opposed to a reboot or prequel of some sort.

It was announced in 2011 that Seth Grahame-Smith ( “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”/ “Dark Shadows”) signed on as screenwriter for the film. According to Schmoes Know, a screenplay written by Grahame-Smith was completed in October 2014  and is complete and ready for film.

Now this has some Burton fans shaking, it is no secret that Burton’s “Dark Shadows” performed poorly with both fans and the box office. Can the director and screenwriter of that film make “Beetlejuice 2″ work not just for the studios but for the hardcore fan base as well? I believe coming back to their spooky home turf will bring only beneficial things to not only Mr. Burton but Mr. Keaton as well. It’s show time.

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