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C'mon Hollywood: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

May. 1, 2012by:

In 1988, Tim Burton’s BEETLEJUICE was released, signaling a “darker” style (his previous studio film was PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE) that would become his signature for many years to come. Michael Keaton, who played the titular “ghost with the most” was fairly well known from his performances in MR. MOM and GUNG HO, but wasn’t exactly “on fire,” until after the release of BEETLEJUICE (and then, of course, Burton’s BATMAN).

BEETLEJUICE is considered by most to be a classic, both of Burton’s traditional style and Keaton’s awesome performance. The supporting cast of Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, skinny Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, etc.,were all good as well, but nothing compared to what Keaton did in just under 18 minutes of screen time. It was a role that let us see a crazier, more sinister comedy streak from the actor, creating a barrage of quotes from the film that stand to this day.

We all know that box office success typically guarantees a sequel, especially today, but sometimes it just doesn’t come together. With BEETLEJUICE, Tim Burton’s career exploded, leading him to BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS, both with Keaton. However, after that the two separated into their own respective careers and haven’t reteamed since.

So, the question is: Why not? Why leave BEETLEJUICE hanging? I’m sure that many of you will feel that it would be best to leave the film be, let it stand as is. You may think “not every movie needs a sequel” and I’d agree with you, especially in the case of SMURFS 2. But, in this instance, I feel that BEETLEJUICE absolutely deserves a one. In fact, I think the character should be in multiple sequels. Additionally, I know the argument of both Keaton and Burton being “past their prime” will inevitably come up, which is ridiculous. I’d like to know what the age limit is for making successful films. Also, let Clint Eastwood know, because he hasn’t gotten the memo and he’s 82. Or Ridley Scott, who’s 75.

Michael Keaton created an awesome character in BEETLEJUICE, a bad guy we root for, even if we hope he gets his due in the end. He was funny, charismatic, memorable, quotable, and he ate bugs. Keaton simply OWNED the role. I could not see another actor playing BEETLEJUICE, nor would I want to. For as long as Keaton draws breath he IS Beetlejuice. I don’t want a reboot, I don’t want a re-imagining, I just want to see Keaton and Burton team back up to give us another outing with the enigmatic “bio-exorcist.”

Michael Keaton is 60 years old. Although I feel that many actors can hold onto the gold for a long while, you still have to cut the guy some slack. He may not look like a geezer, but he’s getting on in age and the time to strike is now-o-f*cking-clock to get him to the make-up room and on set, spouting the crazy/awesome that is Beetlejuice. Keaton has had a lot of hit or miss roles since his role as BATMAN and I’ve always felt he hasn’t gotten enough love. He’s got the intensity and the humor to occupy the screen well and it’s unfortunate we haven’t seen more of him, especially in roles like BEETLEJUICE. As seen recently in THE OTHER GUYS, it’s evident that Keaton has still got “it,” and I sincerely hope he is given the venue to prove it.

As for Burton, he’s had tremendous success and arguably some hit-or-miss as well (although more of the latter). I’ve enjoyed the majority of his films as time has moved on and am looking forward to seeing what he does with DARK SHADOWS, which seems to fall more in line with BEETLEJUICE than anything he’s done since that. Dark, creative, spooky, and funny; Burton can do this well…when he DOES do it well (as with BEETLEJUICE).

As fans we want to see more of the great stuff. We want to see great creative team-ups, sequels to films that warrant them, and new ideas that intrigue us. I firmly believe that Burton and Keaton could make a BEETLEJUICE 2 into something awesome, funny, and gothic-style cool in a way that only they could. With Seth Grahame-Smith working on a script for the film I have hope that it will happen, but the concept has been spinning it’s wheels for decades, so naturally I have my doubts.

You have a great team in Burton/Keaton and I’d love to see what they bring to the table 24 years later. The concept and the character are ripe for exploration with so much potential to exploit. We are inundated with so many unnecessary and unworthy sequels every year, why can’t we get one that has earned a continuation? Say it with me: Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Extra Tidbit: One of my all-time favorite comedies is Keaton's Multiplicity. It's a comedy I can watch anytime and enjoy it completely.
Source: JoBlo.com

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+13
2:32AM on 05/01/2012
It has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. Remember Son of the Mask without Jim Carrey? And how did that turn out?
It has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. Remember Son of the Mask without Jim Carrey? And how did that turn out?
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2:43AM on 05/01/2012

I loved Multiplicity too Steve! I wanna eat a dolphin. I mean pet a dolphin! LOL

Last I heard both Keaton and Burton were interested in coming back. Is that not the case? I'd LOVE to see a sequel if they both come back!
Last I heard both Keaton and Burton were interested in coming back. Is that not the case? I'd LOVE to see a sequel if they both come back!
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1:20PM on 05/01/2012

This should be an unpopular opinion editorial...

Given that on this site, the majority of people:
A) Reflexively hate sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots (except for the ones they like and subconsciously forget are sequels), and...
B) in the past few years have come to reflexively hate Tim Burton
Given that on this site, the majority of people:
A) Reflexively hate sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots (except for the ones they like and subconsciously forget are sequels), and...
B) in the past few years have come to reflexively hate Tim Burton
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+4
10:32AM on 05/01/2012

"We've come for your daughter, Chuck."

I was 3 years old when this flick came out, but I wore out the VHS copy my parents had throughout the 90's. I LOVE THIS MOVIE.

This is my favorite Burton flick. I hope Dark Shadows brings back the funny Burton, because then I'll totally be down with him bringing back the ghost with the most.
I was 3 years old when this flick came out, but I wore out the VHS copy my parents had throughout the 90's. I LOVE THIS MOVIE.

This is my favorite Burton flick. I hope Dark Shadows brings back the funny Burton, because then I'll totally be down with him bringing back the ghost with the most.
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8:11AM on 05/01/2012
I'm all for a Beetlejuice movie. Such a big part of my childhood. Keaton has often talked about his willingness to revisit the character. My stipulations have always been leave the Maitlands out of it, because unlike the Ghost with the Most, they can't hide their twenty-odd years of age under makeup, and they're dead. But yeah, I was always sorry they didn't make more of these movies, as I remember getting my fix on the cartoon spin-off which just wasn't on par.
I'm all for a Beetlejuice movie. Such a big part of my childhood. Keaton has often talked about his willingness to revisit the character. My stipulations have always been leave the Maitlands out of it, because unlike the Ghost with the Most, they can't hide their twenty-odd years of age under makeup, and they're dead. But yeah, I was always sorry they didn't make more of these movies, as I remember getting my fix on the cartoon spin-off which just wasn't on par.
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7:51PM on 05/01/2012
My feelings for Beetlejuice 2 are the same as Ghostbusters 3. I love them, and if a sequel happens I'll see it opening weekend. But I feel like too much time has past, and we might be better off without it rather than getting a weak sequel. I'd rather not have a sequel at all than a lackluster sequel like Indy 4.
My feelings for Beetlejuice 2 are the same as Ghostbusters 3. I love them, and if a sequel happens I'll see it opening weekend. But I feel like too much time has past, and we might be better off without it rather than getting a weak sequel. I'd rather not have a sequel at all than a lackluster sequel like Indy 4.
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7:40AM on 05/01/2012
I saw the movie when I was about 15-16 at the cinema and was blown away by it. It was so refreshingly funny and unlike anything I had seen before that I fell in love with it immediately.

The time is definitely right for a sequel with both Burton and Keaton involved. In fact Keaton was very much partnered to Burton in the same way Depp is today and magic seemed to happen when they got together.

Keaton is seems to be enjoying a move back into popular movies particularly with his voice work
I saw the movie when I was about 15-16 at the cinema and was blown away by it. It was so refreshingly funny and unlike anything I had seen before that I fell in love with it immediately.

The time is definitely right for a sequel with both Burton and Keaton involved. In fact Keaton was very much partnered to Burton in the same way Depp is today and magic seemed to happen when they got together.

Keaton is seems to be enjoying a move back into popular movies particularly with his voice work at Pixar on Cars and Toy Story 3 proving he indeed still has what it takes.
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+2
11:10AM on 05/01/2012

HONK HONK!

I remember the first time i saw this movie, i was 10 or 11 when it came out. Didnt see it in theaters, but on vhs. Love this movie. I also remember my best friends and i would keep rewatching the part were Beetlejuice was pissed and kicked over the model, screaming " Nice F*cking model" before grabbing his crotch and it making honk twice. Classic shit people. I swear im in film school with a bunch of kids who dont really dont know about the great movies that came out when many of us where young.
I remember the first time i saw this movie, i was 10 or 11 when it came out. Didnt see it in theaters, but on vhs. Love this movie. I also remember my best friends and i would keep rewatching the part were Beetlejuice was pissed and kicked over the model, screaming " Nice F*cking model" before grabbing his crotch and it making honk twice. Classic shit people. I swear im in film school with a bunch of kids who dont really dont know about the great movies that came out when many of us where young.
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8:13PM on 05/01/2012
Gah! Well I'll use my double post to at least agree that Keaton might still be able to pull it off.
Gah! Well I'll use my double post to at least agree that Keaton might still be able to pull it off.
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8:13PM on 05/01/2012

"I know the argument of both Keaton and Burton being past their prime will inevitably come up, which is ridiculous. Id like to know what the age limit is for making successful films."


lol, no, no, hang on. That argument about Burton's prime isn't about age, it's about a director showing his last signs of magic over a decade ago. There is no age limit for great film making, but some film makers will never the less cease making truly interesting films. If you think Burton's just as capable of a Beetlejuice film as he was in 88 ... I just disagree.

lol, no, no, hang on. That argument about Burton's prime isn't about age, it's about a director showing his last signs of magic over a decade ago. There is no age limit for great film making, but some film makers will never the less cease making truly interesting films. If you think Burton's just as capable of a Beetlejuice film as he was in 88 ... I just disagree.
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12:34AM on 05/02/2012
What would preclude Burton from making a Beetlejuice 2 interesting exactly? Burton has experimented with some genres (Big Fish, Planet of the Apes), but hasn't lost his style. He's merely tried his hand at the things that intrigue him. I submit that had he continued to make every film just like Beetlejuice he would be blasted for it.

I've enjoyed more of his films than disliked and have found that many of the ones I disliked at first are now ones I actually enjoy quite a bit (Sleepy
What would preclude Burton from making a Beetlejuice 2 interesting exactly? Burton has experimented with some genres (Big Fish, Planet of the Apes), but hasn't lost his style. He's merely tried his hand at the things that intrigue him. I submit that had he continued to make every film just like Beetlejuice he would be blasted for it.

I've enjoyed more of his films than disliked and have found that many of the ones I disliked at first are now ones I actually enjoy quite a bit (Sleepy Hollow and Alice in Wonderland amongst them...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory still sucks).

If anyone were to do a sequel to Beetlejuice, in my mind, it would have to be Burton and would have to be Keaton. Anyone else would simply make it a reboot nightmare. I wouldn't trust another set of souls to tackle the project.
5:12PM on 05/02/2012
I implied what would "preclude" it: Burton no longer making interesting movies. But you seem insistent on arguing against blatantly refutable things you come up with on your own: that Burton is too old, or that his style has changed, or what have you. You've both suggested your hypothetical opposing argument, and assumed the most assailable reasons for it to exist.

I'm saying that if this argument of Burton's expired prime exists, it probably wouldn't have anything to do with Burton's age
I implied what would "preclude" it: Burton no longer making interesting movies. But you seem insistent on arguing against blatantly refutable things you come up with on your own: that Burton is too old, or that his style has changed, or what have you. You've both suggested your hypothetical opposing argument, and assumed the most assailable reasons for it to exist.

I'm saying that if this argument of Burton's expired prime exists, it probably wouldn't have anything to do with Burton's age or stylistic diviations; it would probably follow the broadly held opinion by movie fans that the guy just doesn't make films as good or inspired as Beetlejuice anymore, and that this probably won't randomly change for a Beetlejuice sequel. You can disagree, but don't attempt to undermine that pov by assigning it the flimsiest reasoning you can think of.
6:33PM on 05/01/2012

Let sleeping ghosts lie

Yes, I loved Beetlejuice and I'm not automatically anti-sequel . . . if they're done right. But, for me, Beetlejuice is a perfect film in that we don't need to revisit the characters. Beetlejuice got his just desserts, Winona Ryder danced off into the sunset with the dead football team and everyone was happy. No need to return to that world.

I'd love to see Tim Burton team up with Michael Keaton again, but let it be a different project.
Yes, I loved Beetlejuice and I'm not automatically anti-sequel . . . if they're done right. But, for me, Beetlejuice is a perfect film in that we don't need to revisit the characters. Beetlejuice got his just desserts, Winona Ryder danced off into the sunset with the dead football team and everyone was happy. No need to return to that world.

I'd love to see Tim Burton team up with Michael Keaton again, but let it be a different project.
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10:28PM on 05/02/2012

What a terrible idea

This would be awful. Maybe a short sketch on an awards show, just for nostalgia, but a whole movie? See Indiana Jones 4 if you want to see how the 1980's absolutely do NOT translate well into 2000's cinema.

While I am all for Keaton doing something interesting, Tim Burton has turned into this: [link]
This would be awful. Maybe a short sketch on an awards show, just for nostalgia, but a whole movie? See Indiana Jones 4 if you want to see how the 1980's absolutely do NOT translate well into 2000's cinema.

While I am all for Keaton doing something interesting, Tim Burton has turned into this: [link]
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11:35AM on 05/01/2012

Why?

I don't see why we need a sequel. Really everything you need for the character has been shown and I don't really see what needs/should be explored to warrant another film.

I just feel a sequel will just rehash old jokes and gags like a lot of sequels do. Which is lame. And knowing movies these days it would just be a reboot, same story, same jokes, and lame.
I don't see why we need a sequel. Really everything you need for the character has been shown and I don't really see what needs/should be explored to warrant another film.

I just feel a sequel will just rehash old jokes and gags like a lot of sequels do. Which is lame. And knowing movies these days it would just be a reboot, same story, same jokes, and lame.
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12:11PM on 05/01/2012
The issue of rehash affects ALL sequels. That shouldn't preclude from making one. It's simple; Write a better script. I'm hoping Seth Grahame Smith does just that and the gang delivers a solid film.

And, in a sense, we want a certain level of rehash with sequels...not a blatant remake, but we want to see the same characters in new situations, reacting in ways that made us care about them in the first place.

I think Smith, Burton, and Keaton can make that happen.
The issue of rehash affects ALL sequels. That shouldn't preclude from making one. It's simple; Write a better script. I'm hoping Seth Grahame Smith does just that and the gang delivers a solid film.

And, in a sense, we want a certain level of rehash with sequels...not a blatant remake, but we want to see the same characters in new situations, reacting in ways that made us care about them in the first place.

I think Smith, Burton, and Keaton can make that happen.
8:45AM on 05/02/2012

No thanks

Beetlejuice was fun at the time, but in re-watching, it's kind of stupid and a lot of the characters are annoying. Let it be. Move on.
Beetlejuice was fun at the time, but in re-watching, it's kind of stupid and a lot of the characters are annoying. Let it be. Move on.
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