You know Peter, I’m something of a Beetlejuice myself. Willem Dafoe, star of stage, screen, and memes, recently teased his role in the upcoming Beetlejuice 2, and it’s as weird as the guy playing it. IndieWire reports that Dafoe will be playing a deceased former actor in the long-awaited sequel.
A Police Officer
“I play a police officer in the afterlife,” so I’m a dead person,” said Willem Dafoe, adding, “so I’m a dead person.” For anyone confused by his use of the word afterlife. Dafoe described his Beetlejuice 2 role as a “B-movie action star” who died and became a detective in the Beetlejuice universe’s version of the netherworld. The actor admitted that he hasn’t seen any footage yet but that the movie “was fun to do.”
Fun On The Set
Willem Dafoe’s statements echoed what Beetlejuice himself, Michael Keaton, said in an interview last month regarding his time filming the sequel. Keaton called Beetlejuice 2 “the most f***ing fun you can have working,” while praising director Tim Burton’s commitment to practical effects. The actor described one scene where a crewmember used a fishing line to puppeteer a cat’s tail, saying, “I want people to know this because I love it.”
Willem Dafoe isn’t the only new actor joining the Beetlejuice franchise for the sequel. The other new faces include Jenna Ortega, who plays Astrid, daughter of Winona Ryder’s Lydia, and Monica Belluci, who is reportedly portraying Beetlejuice’s wife in the sequel. Beetlejuice 2 will feature several returning cast members as well, including Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, and, of course, Michael Keaton.
While Lydia’s stepmother, Delia Deetz, makes a return appearance in Beetlejuice 2, the character’s father, Charles, is understandably absent from the movie. This most likely stems from Charles’s actor, Jeffrey Jones’ well-publicized legal troubles involving inappropriate conduct with minors. Also missing are the Maitlands—Alec Baldwin’s Adam and Gena Davis’s Barbara—for less obvious reasons.
Willem Dafoe’s First Tim Burton Film
Beetlejuice 2 will mark Willem Dafoe’s first time working with director Tim Burton, a matchup that seems like a no-brainer when you think about it. Defoe has starred in some out-there films, including Streets of Fire (1984), where he participates in cinema’s first—and so far only sledgehammer duel—and The Lighthouse (2019), which is a movie so odd it almost defies description. If there’s ever been a perfect fit for Tim Burton’s gothic-kitsch aesthetic, it’s Dafoe.
Indeed, Willem Dafoe has worked with several other unorthodox directors over the years, including Wes Anderson, Robert Eggers, and Lars Von Trier. How he and Tim Burton never managed to cross paths before Beetlejuice 2 is a mystery. The actor just seems like such a natural fit for Burton’s style that it only makes sense for them to collaborate.
When Will Beetlejuice 2 Release?
Nothing is known about the plot of Beetlejuice 2 other than the fact that Lydia has a daughter now and The Ghost with the Most got married at some point in the last 35 years. Everything else is being kept tightly under wraps. We can probably assume, however, given Willem Dafoe’s description of his character as a detective, that there may be a mystery of some sort involved.
Perhaps Willem Dafoe and Michael Keaton team up as a pair of mismatched partners trying to break the same case. While a buddy cop movie wouldn’t be our first choice for Beetlejuice 2, it still beats the sequel we almost got back in the ’90s: Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian.
As of right now, Beetlejuice 2 is slated for a September 2024 release.