- Beetlejuice 2 is in the works.
- Wednesday star Jenna Ortega is circling a major role in the sequel.
- Original cast members are expected to return.
It’s (almost) showtime! Over 30 years after Tim Burton‘s Beetlejuice came out, a sequel film has finally been confirmed. Jenna Ortega, one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, is eyeing one of the sequel’s key roles.
For those that haven’t seen it, Beetlejuice follows deceased couple Adam and Barbara Maitland, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, who tries to scare away a family now living in their house. They make contact with an over-the-top bio-exorcist named Betelgeuse played by Michael Keaton, but his antics only complicate matters.
Beetlejuice 2 was officially confirmed in February 2022, per Deadline, with Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment producing alongside Warner Bros, and at least two major stars returning. From the release date to the cast and crew, HollywoodLife has rounded up everything to know about the highly-anticipated sequel.
Beetlejuice 2 Cast & Crew
The original Beetlejuice stars Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones as Delia and Charles Deetz, who move into the Maitland’s old house and become terrorized by Betelgeuse. Winona Ryder plays their goth teenage daughter, Lydia Deetz, who becomes friends with the friendly Maitland ghosts.
So far, Michael and Winona are the two cast members set to return for Beetlejuice 2, according to Screen Rant. The film wouldn’t be possible without Betelgeuse himself, so thank goodness Michael’s coming back! Winona, who currently stars in Netflix’s Stranger Things, previously expressed interest in starring in a Beetlejuice sequel. “I love Lydia Deetz so much. She was such a huge part of me,” Winona told The Daily Beast in 2013. “I would be really interested in what she is doing 27 years later.”
Other cast members’ returns have yet to be announced. Alec’s return may be questionable due to the controversy from the Rust shooting incident.
In March 2023, it was reported that Wednesday breakout star Jenna Ortega is in talks to join the sequel. Jenna is eyeing the role of Lydia Deetz’s daughter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This would mark her second project with Burton, who is expected to direct Beetlejuice 2.
The famous filmmaker has been asked about having Johnny Depp star in Beetlejuice 2 and didn’t deny anything when he spoke to MTV about the possibility in 2012. It’s clear Tim and Johnny enjoy working together and have already brought incredible films to the screen, such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hallow, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Sweeney Todd. However, Johnny’s possible role may be in jeopardy because of his defamation trial against Amber Heard, which has impacted his career.
While Tim is not confirmed to be directing, he has confirmed his interest in the past. In 2015, he told Collider he would sign on to direct a sequel if it made sense. “This is the thing, it’s something that I’m interested in, but there’s so many stories [online], dumping Michael Keaton for Johnny Depp and this or that, and I’ve talked to these people and they didn’t wanna hear this so they just made up a story,” he pressed.
“But the fact of it is I have talked to Michael and I have talked to Winona, I’ve talked to a few people,” he continued. “It’s something that I really would like to do in the right circumstances, but it’s one of those films where it has to be right. It’s not a kind of a movie that cries out [for a sequel], it’s not the Beetlejuice trilogy. So it’s something that if the elements are right — because I do love the character and Michael’s amazing as that character, so yeah we’ll see. But there’s nothing concrete yet.” That’s certainly promising!
Michael shared a similar sentiment when he spoke about the potential sequel in 2016. “It’s possible that ship has sailed,” he told Variety. “The only way to do it is to do it right. So much of it was improvised, and so much was beautifully handmade by the artist that is Tim Burton. If you can’t get close to that, you leave it alone.”
Furthermore, Geena revealed that she “would of course like to revisit” Beetlejuice in an October 2022 chat with PEOPLE, but also said she has no information about the sequel and has not yet been contacted about it. “I want to play every character I’ve ever played again,” she added.
As mentioned before, Plan B Entertainment and Warner Bros. will produce Beetlejuice 2.
The Link to the Original Beetlejuice
Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren wrote the screenplay for the original Beetlejuice, while Tim directed. The movie was a huge hit after its 1998 release and even won the Academy Award for Best Makeup in 1999. Its success spawned numerous offshoots, starting with an animated TV series of the same name that ran on ABC, and then Fox, from 1989 to 1991. Tim produced the project. Then, several Beetlejuice video games were released, starting in 1990. The popular film was also adapted into a Broadway stage musical that opened in April 2019. The show closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but reopened at the Marquis Theatre in April 2022.
No plot details have been revealed for Beetlejuice 2. It would make sense for the sequel to take place many years after the events of the first film. Spoiler alert: Beetlejuice ended with the Deetzes and Maitlands living in the home harmoniously, while Betelgeuse ends up in the afterlife waiting room and gets his head shrunk by a witch doctor.
The budget for Beetlejuice 2 has not been officially set, THR reports, so that’s why there hasn’t been confirmation about when filming will start. However, production is looking at a late May or early June shoot in London.
It’s been a long road to Beetlejuice 2. Plans for the sequel began in 1990, when Tim hired Jonathan Gems to write a second movie called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, per Screen Rant. It would’ve focused on the Deetzes moving to Hawaii, where they are haunted by a spirit. Michael and Winona agreed to the sequel, however, Tim became distracted with directing Batman Returns, which starred Michael as the iconic caped-crusader. Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian was eventually shelved entirely by 1997.
Plans for a different sequel started up in 2011. Warner Bros. hired Seth Grahame-Smith, who worked with Tim on Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to write and produce the project. Winona even gushed about the sequel in a 2013 interview with The Daily Beast. “I’m kind of sworn to secrecy but it sounds like it might be happening. It’s 27 years later,” she confirmed. “And I have to say, I love Lydia Deetz so much. She was such a huge part of me. I would be really interested in what she is doing 27 years later.” However, that sequel was also cancelled.
In 2021, Seth himself spoke about the cancelled sequel. “It’s funny, when I had met with Tim about it last, and we’re talking about five years ago at this point, the reason that it’s so hard to get going is because so many people love it and because there are 10 million ways to get that sequel wrong and four ways to get it right,” he explained to Collider in Oct. 2021. “It’s such a very fine needle to thread that I certainly like didn’t get it there, on the script side. I didn’t thread the needle. There are things that were cool and some interesting ideas. I’ve certainly emotionally moved on from it and just said, ‘If it happens someday, it happens.’”