Beetlejuice 2: All We Know About Michael Keaton’s Return

Could we finally get a sequel to this classic Michael Keaton and Tim Burton movie. It looks like Beetlejuice 2 is getting closer to happening.

By Doug Norrie | Published

michael keaton beetlejuice 2

It’s now been well over three decades since we’ve seen the black-and-white striped suit, green hair, and demonic clown face of everyone’s favorite house-haunter: Beetlejuice. The character was first introduced way back in the 1980s and quickly became part of the zeitgeist thanks to a career performance from the lead, a dark script, excellent direction, and a goth vibe that played a bit differently at the time. Well, now it’s looking like we might finally get a Beetlejuice 2 all of these years later and some original cast members might even be returning. Let’s take a look at everything we know about Beetlejuice 2. 

Who Is Beetlejuice?

michael keaton beetlejuice 2

The character was first introduced back in 1988 and was played by the great Michael Keaton. The actor was already pretty well established in the comedic landscape, but this movie was definitely a departure from the norm even at the time. The titular flick, directed by the great Tim Burton was a dark comedy through and through. Whether Beetlejuice 2 picks up along the same lines, remains to be seen, but there is good reason to think we’d be getting something like a full reset with this one.

That’s because Beetlejuice was a particular play on the haunted house theme, giving us a new window into how these movies could be comedic. Essentially a couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland are killed in a car crash only to find out they are meant to haunt their former home. A new family buys it though is stereotypically impossible with a rich businessman, his joke of a wife, and their goth daughter, Lydia Deetz. 

Lydia is the only one who can see the Maitlands in their ghostly presence. The latter, wanting to run the Deetz’s out of the home call upon Beetlejuice, a demon with a penchant for destruction, to do the job. But it all goes pretty haywire with the Beetlejuice getting a little too into the work and falling in love with Lydia along the way. It’s a fantastic movie and considering the nature of the character, a Beetlejuice 2 could definitely work, even bringing back some of the original characters for an updated story.  

Will Michael Keaton Return For Beetlejuice 2?

This is the operative question, almost more than anything else. While we are definitely in the era of the reboot, with old ideas recycled into new versions, it’s still tough to imagine a Beetlejuice 2 without Michael Keaton who was basically the driving force in the success of the first movie. While not the only piece that made it a classic, Keaton’s acting turn here was brilliant, bringing out every bit of the psychotic, though extremely cerebral version of the character. That Keaton was basically able to embody all the chaos of a demon while also going out his business in a somewhat “normal” way was one of the keys to the movie’s success.

As of this writing, Michael Keaton had not officially signed on for a Beetlejuice 2. There have been rumors along these lines though with Small Screen reporting an exclusive last year that the actor would return for the next story. Time has passed without any other confirmation along these lines, but there’s at least some reason to believe it will happen. But in terms of official casting, Keaton has only two projects set in stone on the docket right now. Those are with him reprising another iconic character when he dons the cape and cowl again as Batman in The Flash and then in Batgirl within the DC Extended Universe.

Would Other Cast Members Return For Beetlejuice 2?

It might be easy to forget, but from a creative and casting standpoint, the original Beetlejuice was just stacked even outside of Michael Keaton. For starters, Winona Ryder played teenager Lydia Deetz. It was a breakout performance from the actress, one that really set her career into hyperdrive. One would have to think we’d be able to catch up with this character as an adult. 

Others in the cast included Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the Maitlands, the unsuspecting and unprepared ghosts who make a big mistake in summoning Beetlejuice. Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hare played the elder Deetzes. Not everyone makes it through this original movie, but remember we are talking about the dead here and a world in which the afterlife has been turned essentially into a DMV-like government bureaucracy. There is a lot of latitude for how one could bring characters back into the mix if they saw fit.

What About Tim Burton For A Beetlejuice Sequel?

tim burton

Almost as much as Michael Keaton, the question of whether Tim Burton would return to the director’s chair for Beetlejuice 2 weighs heavily on the prospects for this film. It’s worth mentioning here that there have been a number of starts and stops along the way in bringing about a sequel for this film. The idea has been bandied about, and even put into motion numerous times basically ever since the original hit the big screen in 1988. The first iteration was a plan for Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian back in 1990. It was going to involve the Deetz family again, reprising the original roles and calling on Michael Keaton to join them in the tropics to help solve a demonic dilemma in the hotel they are building. But that one died on the production vine.

Then things kicked back into gear in the 2010s when Seth Grahame-Smith was tasked with developing another script for Burton. Over the course of the decade, there were a few little odds and ends suggesting it was getting close to actually being greenlit. Even Johnny Depp was rumored to be coming into the title role. But as these things often go, it stalled again. 

The latest news here is that, according to Deadline, Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B has taken over some of the reins, though in what respect it isn’t totally clear. 

Will Beetlejuice 2 Ever Happen?

Considering how many years it’s been since the original and how many speed bumps it has hit along the way, it’s hard to put a lot of faith in a Beetlejuice 2 happening with Michael Keaton back in the lead role. That being said, we are in a different day and age when it comes to content, especially in terms of movies. With the streaming wars at full throttle and every platform looking for as much content (especially legacy content) they can find, the hopes of reboots and sequels have never been higher. We will have updates on Beetlejuice 2 as they come in. Just don’t say that name three times.