Similar to Ridley Scott’s new planned cinematic return to the Blade Runner universe, there’s been a fair amount of talk in recent months about another decades-long belated followup to a beloved 1980s title – Beetlejuice 2. Like the former project, a sequel to Tim Burton’s horror-comedy classic is arriving so many years after the first film was released, it’s difficult to not be skeptical about the idea that we’ll ever ACTUALLY get to see Michael Keaton back onscreen, playing “the ghost with the most,” at this point.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter author Seth Grahame-Smith (who also co-penned the upcoming movie adaptation) has shed some light on his tentative upcoming writing schedule – including, where the Beetlejuice sequel fits in – along with some insight about whether or not Keaton is as enthused about the project as Smith and Burton are.

At a recent Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter event we attendedSmith revealed to ShockTillYouDrop that he’s currently writing “an animated movie… based on an idea of mine” for Burton, though he neglected to elaborate on what that project is. However, he went on to reveal that he’s slated to begin penning the Unholy Night adaptation thereafter, and hopes to begin writing Beetlejuice 2 – which Smith insists is “a priority” for both Warner Bros. executives and Burton – once those other two scripting efforts have been completed.

Smith and his go-to writing/producing partner, David Katzenberg, previously mentioned that it was their intention to bring Keaton back for the new, non-rebooting Beetlejuice flick. However, at the time, there was no confirmation either way, with regards to the actor’s interest in re-donning his famous ghoulish makeup for a second round of supernatural mayhem.

According to Smith:

“[‘Beetlejuice 2′ is] a reality in the sense that I met with Michael Keaton last week. We talked for a couple of hours and talked about big picture stuff… [Keaton’s] been wanting to do it for 20 years and he’ll talk to anybody about it who will listen. I really told him, I have a huge reverence for Tim and a huge reverence for [the original] film in general. I don’t think we should do it if we s**t on the legacy. He agrees. So, right now, it remains to be seen, I have a couple of story ideas, but we’re very early out.”

Nice to hear that Smith and Co. aren’t rushing headfirst into churning out a Beetlejuice followup without giving it some considerable thought – but that they also recognize that this is a second installment which (assuming it actually does come together) should happen sooner, rather than later.

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Beetlejuice 2 as the story develops.