Recently, a new spate of rumors has been going around that Beetlejuice 2 is on the horizon. People are willing to jump on any tidbit, like when Winona Ryder claimed the movie was ready to go, even if ultimately Ryder had to walk it back. But believe it or not, there have been two Beetlejuice sequels planned over the years, one of which is too strange to believe.
Beetlejuice is an odd movie to become an unexpected hit. The script follows two newly dead ghosts whose quiet New England home is occupied by the Deetz clan, largely tasteless and clueless except for Lydia (Ryder), their sensitive goth teenage daughter. Horrified by the Deetz family, they try to scare them out of the house before turning to Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a freelance human remover who turns out to have ulterior motives. Paired with Burton’s unique sensibility, it was a massive hit that launched a number of careers, especially when Burton and Keaton followed it up with Batman.
Hollywood being Hollywood, a sequel was immediately proposed. Burton proposed Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, and even hired Jonathan Gems to write a script. The basic joke was that the classic ’60s beach movie would clash with the German Expressionist style of the original, with Beetlejuice saving the Deetz family from an ancient Hawaiian kahuna they’d offended. Believe it or not, Burton worked on this project for nearly a decade. It was still being rewritten in 1993 and revisions didn’t stop until 1997, when Gems noted the script as it stood was controlled by the Geffen Company and perhaps too much time had passed.
The idea of a Beetlejuice 2 languished until 2011, when Burton put a sequel in the works. The process started with Seth Grahame-Smith, a screenwriter who’s worked with Burton in the past on Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, writing a script. Over the last four years, both Ryder and Burton have said they’d love for the movie to happen, but only with Keaton, who is, at least, interested.
So, will it happen? Sadly, the current claims that Beetlejuice 2 is ready to go is little more than hope based on an unsubstantiated report at an obscure website, albeit one widely recirculated by other outlets. But if nothing else, it appears that at least the cast want it to happen as much as the fans do.