There’s some new life for Beetlejuice 2. The project has been in development, in some form or another, for years and has never found its way to becoming a reality. Now, Warner Bros. is giving it another try, as they’ve hired screenwriter Mike Vukadinovich to pen a new version of the script for Beetlejuice 2. Depending on how that goes, we may see Tim Burton and Michael Keaton return for the sequel, but it sounds like we’re a long way from that actually happening. But the movie is in active development.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline, who report that, while Warner Bros. is working on a new script for Beetlejuice 2, that doesn’t mean the movie is actually going to happen. The report notes that Tim Burton, who directed the original movie, and Michael Keaton, who brought the titular character of Beetlejuice to life, have not yet officially inked a deal to return. Though, they have both expressed interest to do so. Just last year, Burton said that he would love to do Beetlejuice 2, but only under the right circumstances.
“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.”
Beetlejuice was released in 1988 and it was successful at the time, bringing in $73 million worldwide. But it’s the movie’s legacy as a cult classic that has kept the hopes for a sequel alive for nearly thirty years. Not to mention that, in recent years, Michael Keaton’s star power has increased dramatically. Plus, Winona Ryder and Geena Davis have expressed interest in returning for a sequel. So it’s understandable that Warner Bros. would feel like now could be the time to strike. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.
Going back to the mid-90s, Warner Bros. has been trying to crack Beetlejuice 2 unsuccessfully. In the early days, Kevin Smith was pitched writing a sequel titled Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, though, he didn’t take the gig. So the story has gone through quite a few revisions. Last we heard, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg wrote a draft that almost got going, but it never got off the ground. Deadline notes that they would still be on as producers for this version of Beetlejuice 2, but their script would at the very least be reworked.
Mike Vukadinovich isn’t a huge name just yet, but he’s got a lot of high-profile projects under his belt. He wrote Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for Disney and his movie Rememory debuted at Sundance earlier this year and was purchased by Lionsgate. According to Deadline, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton have been getting along quite well as they’ve been filming Disney’s live-action Dumbo together. They’re apparently excited about the prospect of a Beetlejuice sequel and want to do it. Who knows? If Vukadinovich turns in a good script, we may finally see this movie happen.