There's been talk about Beetlejuice 2 for many years now - and, thanks to a new deal struck between KatzSmith Productions (which is headed by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith) and Warner Bros., a sequel to the Tim Burton classic could actually start to move forward.
Speaking of still-theoretical projects that may have a future after all - Universal dropped Ridley Scott's Monopoly board game adaptation a while ago, but the project is still alive and getting a rewrite by a new pair of successful scribers.
Monopoly remains the more likely movie to happen, though it will definitely be affected by the popularity of next year's Battleship movie. The Beetlejuice followup, by comparison, looks to benefit from Grahame-Smith's rising status (more on that later), but it's far from being "a sure thing."
Original Beetlejuice stars Michael Keaton and Geena Davis have expressed their interest in making another film about "the ghost with the most" in the past, but this long-rumored Tim Burton project hasn't been regarded as anything but a pipe dream for years - up until now, at least.
Deadline has learned that part of the deal between KatzSmith and Warner Bros. involves the former working on a new Beetlejuice flick. The site says the project will not be a remake; rather, a rebooting sequel (a la this winter's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) that advances the storyline of the original 1988 movie. Grahame-Smith's work on Tim Burton's upcoming Dark Shadows movie (he wrote the screenplay) is reportedly what convinced studio heads that he should work on Beetlejuice 2 - which the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author could end up scripting as well.
Put bluntly: It's highly unlikely that fans will go for this, unless both Keaton and Burton return as well. It was the former's hilariously wild performance as the title character - mixed with his director's warped Gothic visual style - that made the first Beetlejuice as big a hit as it was. No matter how good a script Grahame-Smith pounds out, it's hard to imagine anyone mustering up a lot of excitement for this sequel - without those two crucial "ingredients," that is.
Universal has dropped several Hasbro board game movie adaptations recently, including Gore Verbinski's Clue, McG's Ouija, and Ridley Scott's Monopoly. The last of those three is on the lookout for a new studio backer, with Scott still onboard to at least produce the film.
Heat Vision has learned that Golden Globe-winning screenwriting duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flint) will be reworking the Monopoly script. Whether they will be fashioning it as more of a real estate market satire, like Scott reportedly wants - or a timeless family story, like what Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has spoken about in the past - is not clear. However, based on their collective filmography, the former seems more likely.
Battleship won't make or break the future of Monopoly, but it will help persuade Hollywood studios on the matter of just how bankable old-fashioned board game titles really are. This particular project seems to have more to do with its inspiration than some of its peers (see: the Candyland movie being modeled after Lord of the Rings). Whether that is a good or bad thing, though, kind of depends on how you look at it.
We will keep you posted on the status of both Beetlejuice 2 and Monopoly, as more information is released.