Michael Keaton says there will be widespread use of practical effects in Beetlejuice 2.
It’s been 35 years since Tim Burton and Michael Keaton worked together on 1988’s Beetlejuice, and a sequel has been a long time coming after years of talking about a possible Beetlejuice 2 movie. In 2023, we’re finally being clued into the production process, and a recent interview Keaton had with Empire is telling us that the long-awaited sequel will very much be in the spirit of the original film. One notable takeaway is that the makeup, special effects, and costume design will be done the old-fashioned way with handmade props and practical effects.
Michael Keaton elaborated that Beetlejuice 2 will also involve taking creative liberties with the script in the form of improvising lines and seeing what happens. Referring to working on Beetlejuice 2 as “the most fun he’s had working on a movie” in a very long time, it’s clear that Keaton is beyond excited about reprising his role as the foul-mouthed bio-exorcist who loves to create chaos wherever he goes.
Though the plot for Beetlejuice 2 is still very much under wraps, we’re going to see quite a few familiar faces gracing us with their presence in the upcoming sequel. Not only will Michael Keaton return as the titular character, but we’re also going to see Winona Ryder come back in the form of a grown-up Lydia Deetz, and Catherine O’Hara once again fulfilling the role of Delia Deetz, Lydia’s step-mother from the first Beetlejuice movie. Additionally, we’re going to see Jenna Ortega take on a new role as Lydia’s daughter.
Considering her role as Wednesday Addams in the wildly popular Netflix series, Wednesday (executive produced by Tim Burton), it makes a lot of sense that Jenna Ortega would continue to enthusiastically involve herself with another supernatural comedy. Speaking of Wednesday, the screenplay for Beetlejuice 2 was written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar who created the series, and we simply cannot wait to see what kind of chemistry Ortega will have with Michael Keaton as they riff on the screenplay and bring these characters to life. Knowing these facts, we can only expect Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice to continue to make a number of misguided romantic advances toward Lydia and her daughter.
Perhaps the most exciting development in the production of Beetlejuice 2 is that Danny Elfman announced back in May that he’ll be composing the upcoming film’s score. If you have any doubts over Michael Keaton’s statement about staying true to the spirit of 1988’s Beetlejuice, you can rest assured that the musical accompaniment will be as wacky, dissonant, and fantastical as you would expect. It’s also worth noting that Danny Elfman has worked with Tim Burton and Michael Keaton in the past (Batman, Batman Returns), so even though his contributions are off-screen, it’s safe to say that even the film scoring will be nothing short of an iconic callback to the original movie.
The interior scenes for Beetlejuice 2 began filming in London on May 10, 2023, but the exterior scenes will be shot in East Corinth, Vermont where the outside scenes for the original film were originally shot in 1988. Beetlejuice 2 is slated for a September 6, 2024 release. If we take Michael Keaton’s recent interview with Empire at face-value, we’re certainly in for a treat.