Everything We Know About Beetlejuice 2

Say his name three times. Do it. Unlike Candyman, most people would love to summon Beetlejuice. He’s the Ghost With The Most. The film Beetlejuice became an instant classic when it haunted theater screens in the spring of 1988. Burton’s visual aesthetic, along with the amazing performances by Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, captivated audiences. The film easily grossed over $75 Million at the box office on a $15 Million budget. People loved the character, and he even got a Saturday morning cartoon spin-off that kids loved.

If the character was so popular then where is the sequel? Talks have been brewing again that a Beetlejuice sequel is moving forward and possibly shooting this summer. With legacy sequels being all the rage right now it could be the time to do it. Believe it or not, work on Beetlejuice 2 began not long after the movie premiered. What do we know about it? First, let’s start in the past.


In 1990 Tim Burton was riding high on his Batman film breaking all sorts of records at the summer box office. He had a golden ticket to work on anything he wanted. As he was finishing up work on Edward Scissorhands, he began to turn his attention to what his next projects would be. He had another Batman film on the horizon but wanted to get working on one of his other projects. Burton hired British playwright Jonathan Gems to work on a script for Beetlejuice 2 called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian.

Tim Burton wanted to take the character out of the dreary underworld and put him in the colorful and sun-filled islands. The Deetz family was going to move there to open a new resort. Turns out Charles didn’t do any research and ended up building it on the resting place of a great Hawaiian Kahuna. The spirit would come back to the world of the living and cause problems for the family and surrounding citizens causing them to call in the big guns. At one point Beetlejuice even wins a surfing contest by using his magic. It seems strange but Jonathan Gems said Burton loved the idea.

“Tim thought it would be funny to match the surfing backdrop of a beach movie with some sort of German Expressionism because they’re totally wrong together,”

Jonathan Gems

Keaton and Ryder both agreed to return on the condition that Burton would again be directing. Before work could get started on it Burton and Keaton got busy with Batman Returns. A few years later producer David Geffen would hire writer Pamela Norris to take a shot at rewriting the script. It eventually fell into development hell. Famously Kevin Smith was offered a chance to take a shot at it. He turned it down in favor of writing Superman Lives. When asked why he turned it down he replied,

“Didn’t we say all we needed to say in the first Beetlejuice? Must we go tropical?”

Kevin Smith

Eventually, the project died. When he was asked about the Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian script Jonathan Gems said it was too late to make the film as Ryder had aged out of the part as it was written. They would have to recast and no one really wanted that.

what we know about beetlejuice 2

New After-Life

After two decades of sitting on the shelf, in 2011 Warner Bros. approached Seth Grahame-Smith about writing a new sequel and even producing it. He had worked with Burton on Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter previously. Smith said he signed to make sure it was “a story that is worthy of us actually doing this for real, something that is not just about cashing in, is not just about forcing a remake or a reboot down someone’s throat.” He said he had met with Keaton about doing the film, and he was on board.

They had gone over the story and Keaton seemed to be really excited to finally get back to the character. Ryder herself said that she was excited to return to the role but only if Burton and Keaton were involved. She stated that Lydia was an important part of her that she wanted to explore again 27 years later. Burton said that they had been working on the script and were excited to get started in 2014. He said he was excited to get to work with Keaton again and that it was going to film that summer.

It seemed that the sequel was moving forward and everyone was happy . . . but that window came and went and no movement happened on the film. In 2015 Ryder was on a talk show and said she was for sure coming back to the role and that she couldn’t wait to get started. By 2017 screenwriter Mike Vukadinovich was hired to do a re-write of the script. In 2019 Warner Bros. confirmed that the project was in fact sitting in the waiting room of the afterlife.

what we know about beetlejuice 2

Our only hope is . . . Brad Pitt?

With the project once again dead on arrival there looked like no hope of ever seeing a Beetlejuice 2. Until Brad Pitt stepped in. Well, not Brad Pitt personally but his production company Plan B Entertainment. In February of 2022, his company announced it’s producing the new film. It’s rumored to film this summer. What do we know about the sequel?

Burton has stated in the past that he would only do the film if Keaton agreed to return. So if a camera does start rolling on Beetlejuice 2, it’s a safe bet Keaton will be in the black and white suit. We never thought we would see him back in the Batsuit either but it’s happening. Let’s hope he gets to keep returning to some of his favorite characters.

Wynona Ryder had said before she was interested in returning for the follow-up but nothing was said about her casting recently by Warner Brothers. Not to worry though as we will still get a young goth girl for Beetlejuice to menace as current ‘it’ girl Jenna Ortega has been cast as Lydia’s daughter.

J​ustin Theroux has been confirmed as being part of the movie but what his role will be is currently unknown. Burton is stepping back into the director’s chair with a script from his Wednesday showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. If anyone was worried about the famous music from the film, don’t worry, Elfman is coming back as well.

One of the big rumors was that Johnny Depp was going to be in the film. He had started showing up on a Google cast list for the film alongside Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder. Nothing has been announced but fans of Depp were excited to see that he might be teaming up with his favorite director once again.

With all the rumors you have to take any casting not announced by Warner Brothers with a grain of salt. Hopefully, we will get to see some more returning characters to the film. Warner Brothers have set the release of the film as September 6, 2024. The film is supposed to film this summer. No word on if the writer’s strike will affect this release date but hopefully the script has already been finalized. So mark your calendars! Until then we can always go back and watch the original or wait until we get to see Keaton back in the Batsuit when The Flash finally hits theater screens.

Are you excited to see Beetlejuice 2? Let us know in the comments.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/beetlejuice-2-everything-we-know/