Update: Well, whether you thought the Beetlejuice sequel finally happening was too good to be true or not, it’s not true. The source that claimed to speak to Burton is a lying liar, as confirmed by MTV, meaning the sequel continues to languish is cinematic purgatory. As my original article postulated, maybe this is for the best.
The script is in. Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder are on board. The movie has been greenlit. So all the long-threatened Beetlejuice 2 has to do is finally start filming.
Or so Tim Burton says after being cornered by Showbiz Spy. The director gave them the following update:
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. We have the script in hand everything is in place all we need to do now is get ready to start filming.
I know plenty of people are excited by the idea of returning to the world of Beetlejuice, but I say “long-threatened” because I am pretty sure we will not be pleased with the results. Yes, it’s great that Keaton and Ryder are back, and I actually have faith in Seth Grahame-Smith’s script. It’s Burton I’m worried about.
Guys, Tim Burton is no longer Tim Burton. He hasn’t been Tim Burton in a long time. His last four films were Big Eyes, Frankenweenie, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows. His last really good films—which also happen to be in that sweet spot of macabre with bits of comedy as opposed to obnoxiously, sinisterly quirky—were The Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd, both a decade ago. Before that little flurry of excellence, his IMDB lists Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, and his unforgivable Planet of the Apes reboot.
Maybe a return to the world of Beetlejuice is exactly what Burton needs. Maybe it’s a project that’s just built into his DNA. But there are very few 20-or-more-years later sequels that live up to their originals. If Steven Spielberg has trouble, I am not optimistic about Tim Burton.