Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (that’s one) came out 30 years ago today.
In the three decades since, there’s been an aborted sequel (Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian — that’s two), an animated television show with a great opening, and a musical that’s hoping to make it to Broadway sometime next year. It’s a beloved, Oscar-winning classic, with indelible performances from Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Geena Davis, and Winona Ryder, that leans more on comedy than horror, but the film almost had a much darker conclusion.
The Movie That Shall Not Be Named ends on a joyous note, with You-Know-Who hanging out in the afterlife’s waiting room with a newly-shrunken head (“This could be a good look for me”) and Lydia celebrating getting an “A” on her math test by singing and dancing to Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In the Line.” But in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, writer and producer Larry Wilson revealed, “Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife. A couple of people said to us, ‘Do you really think that’s a good idea? Is that really the message you want to be sending to the teenagers of the world? Die in a fire?’ So, yeah, it probably was darker.”
I see nothing wrong with Beetlejuice —