[UPDATE: Burton's rep is saying that Beetlejuice 2 is NOT a go after all.]
For better or worse, Tim Burton defined the idea of an "auteur director" for '90s kids, putting out a steady stream of directing (and, in the case of The Nightmare Before Christmas, producing) work across multiple genres unified by his recurring cast members, stylistic fixations and very specific preferences for set-design, music and costuming. Case in point, the 1988 rowdy horror-comedy Beetlejuice, which plays differently than almost anything else in his ouvre apart from Mars Attacks! yet is still thoroughly "a Tim Burton movie."
Fans have clamored for a sequel to Beetlejuice for just shy of three decades. However, it sounds like they may finally get their wish, with Beetlejuice 2 being closer than ever to actually starting production.
Rumor site Showbiz Spy is claiming that the Beetlejuice sequel, which has been heavily buzzed-about since last August when Winona Ryder let a pseudo-confirmation slip during a talk show interview, has finally gotten a green light. The site is providing a quote attributed to Tim Burton himself to back up the claim:
“The film is a go and has been approved by the Warner Bros. team, we have talked with the cast members we wanted for the film and they are all on board, this includes both Winona and Michael. We have the script in hand everything is in place all we need to do now is get ready to start filming.”
[UPDATE: MTV has received a statement from Burton's rep, saying that Beetlejuice 2 is NOT currently moving forward and that Burton gave no statement to Showbiz Spy.]
If the confirmation is for real this time, it's likely that renewed interest in the property has been driven by the return to major film roles of Michael Keaton, who played the title role in Beetlejuice. Although he appeared only sporadically in theatrical features for several years, Keaton has recently re-emerged in a big way following his performances in the showbiz satire Birdman and the docudrama Spotlight - the Best Picture Oscar-winners from the past two years. And while Burton's fans remain divided over much of the director's recent work, the staggering $1 billion worldwide gross of his live-action Alice In Wonderland movie is also likely to thank for some of the new momentum behind following-up a decades-old cult hit like Beetlejuice.
No details are available on the premise for Beetlejuice 2, though Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian was the (supposedly) half-joking title that followed the project around for several years at one point. The original film is an offbeat supernatural comedy that reverses the perspective of a traditional haunted house movie: the ghosts of a sweet-natured, All-American couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are horrified when the house they're haunting is purchased by an obnoxious yuppie couple and their withdrawn goth daughter (Ryder;) leading them to hire Keaton's Beetlejuice, a demon and notorious "bio-exorcist" to help them expel the offending humans - only to see his increasingly-dangerous methods become too much for them to handle. That premise leaves a lot of room for Beetlejuice to pop up offering to ply his trade in any number of scenarios, with his late-arriving fixation on Ryder's character giving her plenty of reason to be involved too.
If real this time, Beetlejuice 2 would join an increasingly full plate for the sought-after director, who just wrapped production on the upcoming Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and executive produced the forthcoming sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. Burton is also still scheduled to helm the live-action remake of the flying-elephant adventure Dumbo for Disney: a project that was previously reported to be aiming for a projected 2017 release.
We'll bring you more information on Beetlejuice 2 as it becomes available.
Source: Showbiz Spy
Update Source: MTV