Beetlejuice 2 has been rumored since the early 1990s but this past year in particular, rumblings that the long-awaited horror/comedy sequel is going to happen at last have been growing louder and louder. A screenplay has been in development from David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith (The Hard Times of RJ Berger) for a couple years now, while of late the principal players on the original movie have begun steering themselves to make the followup a reality at last.
The one and only "Ghost with the Most", Michael Keaton, has been making headlines for what is now his Golden Globe-nominated (semi-meta) performance in Birdman, while Keaton's Batman and Beetlejuice helmsman, Tim Burton, has now directed both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz to Globe nods for the upcoming biopic, Big Eyes. As such, both gents are not just in a good place, but their recent activity has allowed journalists an opening to get a fresh Beetlejuice 2 update
Coming Soon recently asked Burton if he has seen Birdman yet; while the director admitted he has not, he said he's very much looking forward to a professional reunion with his frequent collaborator from the late 1980s and early '90s, as well as revisiting the Beetlejuice character.
"It’s a character that I love and I miss and I miss actually working with Michael. There’s only one Beetlejuice. We’re working on a script and I think it’s probably closer than ever and I’d love to work with him again.”
Big Eyes has been generating pre-release buzz as being one of Burton's better films in a while; it's certainly his most provocative work in recent memory, following a string of live-action studio remakes, reboots, and/or re-imaginings. If the next Burton project, the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children adaptation - starring Eva Green and scripted by Kick-Ass screenwriter, Jane Goldman - can keep that momentum going, then it'll offer a good reason to be hopeful about how his Beetlejuice sequel will turn out when/if it happens.
Long-overdue sequels in general have a rather poor track record, quality-wise, and comedy followups are an even more dicey prospect (see this year's Dumb and Dumber To for evidence of that), which is why any encouraging sign is worth taking, where it concerns something like Beetlejuice 2. For related reasons, no doubt, Keaton informed Deadline earlier this month that much precision and care is being taken to prep the Beetlejuice sequel.
"Tim Burton and I have emailed about it. We’re both in the same situation (of always being busy on other projects). Neither one of us gets tired of the conversation… Tim says he’s working on something, then goes away for a while. At some point, someone is going to say we really want to do it. You don’t want to f**k it up, so it has to be perfect."
Keaton has been finding steady employment of late (he also costarred in RoboCop and Need for Speed this year) and that shouldn't be changing, post-Birdman. Which is to say, both he and Burton are in a place right now where Beetlejuice 2 is something that they would like to make, more than a project they need to give their careers a boost. At the same time, the two are clearly feeling the pressure to make a Beetlejuice sequel that counts as worthwhile. Hopefully, that'll help more than hinder their efforts.
We'll bring you more information on Beetlejuice 2 when we have it.