In 1988, Tim Burton released Beetlejuice, a dark fantasy comedy film that marked the beginning of Burton’s successful collaboration with Michael Keaton, which culminated in the two acclaimed Batman films from 1989 and 1992. Beetlejuice was a completely different film and a completely different role for Keaton, but it retained Tim Burton’s usual stylistic elements and was a major hit for the studio. Now, plans for a Beetlejuice sequel have been mentioned since the late 1980s, but so far we have no information on a potential Beetlejuice 2.
Beetlejuice 2 has been planned as early as the 1990s, but after years of struggles, potential scripts, rewrites and whatnot, the sequel has been officially shelved by Warner Bros. in April 2019, meaning that we will probably never see the sequel to Beetlejuice, unless the studio opts for a remake or something similar.
In the rest of this article, we are going to give you all the official and unofficial information we have about Beetlejuice 2. As you could’ve seen, the future doesn’t seem overly bright, but we still have some information to work with, which might ne useful
Beetlejuice 2 Release Date
The first news of a potential Beetlejuice sequel came way back in 1990, when Tim Burton hired Johnathan Gems to write the screenplay for a sequel titled Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. Gems said of Burton’s initial 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.” The project was ultimately sidelined because both Burton and Keaton focused on 1992’s Batman Returns.
The project was still in Burton’s focus between 1993 and 1997, but despite numerous scripts appearing, no one actually moved forward with the project. The whole idea was revived in 2011, when Seth Grahame-Smith was hired to write a script for a sequel set 26 or 27 years after the original, meaning that the movie was projected for a 2014 or 2015 release. Grahame-Smith said the following for Collider:
“I don’t wanna be the guy that destroys the legacy and the memory of the first film; I would rather die. I would rather just not make it, I’d rather just throw the whole thing away than make something that pays no respect and doesn’t live up even close to the legacy of the first film.”
The project was good to go and the original cast and crew agreed to return, but in 2017, it was revealed that Mike Vukadinovich was hired to rewrite the script; no specific details have been given. And it seemed as if this move actually killed a potential sequel. After two years of no information at all, Warner Bros. spokeswoman Candice McDonough revealed “the project isn’t in active development” in April 2019, thus revealing that the movie had been shelved and that the studio would not be pursuing a sequel.
This was also confirmed by Tim Burton himself during the production of Dumbo, when he was asked about Beetlejuice 2. Before waving off any additional questions, he simply said: “I don’t know. I doubt it.” And that is everything we know – Beetlejuice 2 isn’t happening at this moment, nor is it likely to happen anytime soon, especially not with the original cast and crew.
Beetlejuice 2 Trailer
No trailer has been released for Beetlejuice 2 and seeing how the movie has been shelved by Warner Bros., we probably won’t see a trailer ever, but certainly not in the near future. It just doesn’t seem that Warner Bros. will be moving forward with the project.
Beetlejuice 2 Plot
Since we now know that Beetlejuice 2 has been shelved, there is also no plot for the movie. But, we do have some information about the plots of the scrapped sequels; this might not mean anything in relation to the latest ideas of the scrapped project, but some of these elements might have been used in the scrapped sequel written by Vukadinovich.
As far as the original sequel, Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, is concerned, we know that the film would have seen the Deetz family moving to Hawaii, where Charles would develop a resort. They would soon have discovered that his company was building on the burial ground of an ancient Hawaiian Kahuna.
The spirit would then come back from the afterlife to cause trouble, and Beetlejuice would become an unlikely hero by winning a surf contest with magic. It sounds quite fun, unfortunately, the idea was scrapped and it will probably never be made into a movie.
As for the project that was almost realized in the 2010s, we only know that it would have been set 26 or 27 years after the original and that it would’ve been a direct sequel, but no further details had been revealed. As to Vukadinovich’s rewrite, we have absolutely no clue what it would have been about.
And that’s all we know. But, while we remain sad because of the cancellation, let us remind ourselves what happened in the original movie.
A happy newlywed couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland, live in a stunning villa in Connecticut. While they are in the car, Barbara gets out of the road trying to avoid a dog and the vehicle drives into a river. Adam and Barbara return home but soon realize that they have died in the accident. Having become ghosts, they cannot leave their house because they then find themselves in a frightening dimension populated by gigantic sandworms.
But their house is sold soon after to a couple of wealthy New York snobs, Charles and Delia Deetz, who move in with Lydia, a teenage Goth daughter of Charles and his first wife. The Deetzs and their decorator Otho begin to furnish the house in a modern art style that horrifies the Maitlands. Juno, their afterlife advisor, informs them that they must haunt their house for 125 years and fend for themselves to hunt its occupants.
The Maitlands, therefore, try to scare the Deetz, but their attempts are unsuccessful because they are invisible to the living. Only Lydia can see them and she befriends them. The Maitlands decide, despite Juno’s warnings, to summon Beetlejuice, an eccentric and untrustworthy “bio-exorcist”, to scare the Deetz’s away. Beetlejuice’s evil and rude behavior quickly annoys the Maitlands, who decide to fire him but not before Beetlejuice has managed to cause several supernatural phenomena.
These experiences persuade the Deetz that the house is haunted but, far from scaring them, it convinces them to turn it into a tourist attraction. Otho conducts a spiritualism session to prove to Charles’ boss that the house is truly haunted. The Maitlands appear but begin to decompose as Otho unwittingly performs an exorcism.
Lydia asks Beetlejuice for help, and Beetlejuice accepts on the condition that she marries him, which will allow her to act on the material world without needing to be summoned. Beetlejuice interrupts the exorcism and hastily prepares a wedding ceremony but the Maitlands manage to interrupt it and Beetlejuice is devoured by a sandworm.
The Maitlands and Deetzs eventually agree to live in harmony in the house, as Beetlejuice finds herself in the afterlife waiting room.
Beetlejuice 2 Cast
Since Beetlejuice 2 isn’t happening, there’s basically no cast for the movie. We do know that the original cast, including Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, was slated to reprise their roles, along with Burton, but since the project had been shelved in the meantime, any talk of a returning cast or not has been made useless. We do have information that all the living cast members, including Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, had agreed to return, but that was more than six years ago.