Tim Burton is excited to solve some lingering mysteries about Beetlejuice with the movie’s long-gestating sequel.
It was previously announced that Beetlejuice 2 was finally happening with Burton back in the director’s chair. Michael Keaton also returns as the titular character alongside fellow returning star Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz. Jenna Ortega of Wednesday fame also stars as Lydia’s daughter, bringing some new blood to the franchise.
In a new interview with the British Film Institute, Burton commented on the status of Beetlejuice 2, revealing that the sequel was about 98.99% completed with its filming before shutting down because of the strike. The filmmaker says working on the sequel has been amazing and had even “reinvigorated” his love for making movies. Burton went on to explain how this particular project is very special while divulging which questions he sought to answer with Beetlejuice 2.
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“It’s so weird because I don’t overly keep in contact with people, but this was very special, because obviously the sequel had been talked about for 35 years,” Burton said. “I truly never quite understood the success of the first one. It’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries. [But] when I did [the sequel], I didn’t look at the first movie, because it didn’t feel like it would help.”
He added, “I treated it just very much as a project where, after 35 years, the anchor for me is what happened to Lydia, what happened to the Deetz family? What happened to the living people? What happens to people we see at one stage in their life, then you see them many years later? What the f*** happened to that person? What happened to Catherine? What happened to Charles? This is what interests me. This is what gives it an anchor for me. Where are these people after 35 years?”
Burton commented on how it was “very emotional” to reunite with several of the same people he enjoyed working with during the original Beetlejuice film’s production. He praised Keaton’s performance as Beetlejuice, comparing his ability to slip back into that role so effortlessly as “like demon possession.” Burton also teased how the goal was to maintain the same spirit as the first movie.
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“We ended up doing the same idea – no digital effects, puppets, strings, wires, makeup, and tried to shoot it with the same spirit; with all these actors, they’re so good at improv,” Burton says. “I didn’t realise until lately, we shot about the same number of days as the first one… Just going back to the old, same puppets and techniques. It goes back to the good old days.”
Beetlejuice 2 doesn’t yet have a release date.
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