When last reported, Warner Bros. was actively developing a Beetlejuice sequel that would finally reunite director Tim Burton with the film’s star, Michael Keaton. Co-star Winona Ryder even confirmed the sequel to Seth Myers years ago. It’s been a while since the latest update, though, with the project seemingly rotting away in the afterlife waiting room. But recent comments seem to have squashed any hopes for an official Round 2. Candice McDonough, a Warner Bros. studio spokeswoman recently told USA Today: “The project isn’t in active development.”
While it’s a bummer we won’t see Keaton transform into his iconic character once again, at least the whole back and forth can finally stop. Like a new disappointing season of Arrested Development and the return of Game of Thrones and/or Khaleesi’s dragons, please file this one under “Shit I’m Sick and Tired of Hearing About.” If the Burton/Keaton power duo could’ve gotten it together, there’s no doubt it would’ve been one of the most talked about revivals ever; Warner Bros. would’ve just watched the money print right before its eyes. But nobody wants to see a half-cooked Beetlejuice that doesn’t live up to the former’s standards. And if the original sequel, Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, didn’t take off after the original film banked $74 million, maybe there’s a reason we never returned to the afterlife.
“The bottom line is, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton are not going to think about a Beetlejuice sequel unless it somehow catches the energy of the first film,”said Larry Wilson, one of the movie’s original writers, to USA Today. “And that’s not easy. Beetlejuice really was lightning in a bottle. But there have been discussions since it really shocked everyone in 1988. And in terms of Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, wiser heads prevailed. Thank God there’s a level of integrity here.”
Beetlejuice in tropical Hawaii…uhh, yeah, we all dodged a bullet there.
The Jonathan Gems-penned Hawaiian sequel wasn’t the only script surfing its way through Hollywood. More recently, Seth Grahame-Smith and Mike Vukadinovich had been hired to pen new iterations, and while Burton, Keaton, and Ryder had all expressed interest in returning, it’s now officially official: we can all stop holding our breath.
With Beetlejuice hitting Broadway (starting April 25), as well as Burton’s reunion with Keaton for the live-action Dumbo (in theaters now), the sequel talk was sparked again…only this time Burton seems far less enthused. When asked about the sequel during a Dumbo interview, the director responded, “Nothing, nothing. I don’t know. I doubt it [will happen].” He waved off any further questions about it.
So there it is. It’s over. Not happening. Dead. Toast. Fin. Can we please, for the love of all that is dead, buried, and haunted, stop talking about it now!? Let’s instead turn our attention toward the fact that the animated Beetlejuice TV series is nowhere to be found on any streaming service. That is the truly horrifying Beetlejuice injustice we must continue to struggle with. If anyone has a rich family member who just so happens to be a big-wig at Netflix or Amazon or whatever…we need you. Plant some seeds. Work some magic.
*UPDATE* Word on the Twitter streets is that Dailymotion is where it’s at. (You didn’t hear it from me!)