October 12, 2017
‘Beetlejuice 2’ Moves Ahead With New Writer
The one and only sequel ever directed by Tim Burton is Batman Returns. That’s also the last movie he made with actor Michael Keaton before their upcoming reunion on Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake (currently filming with fellow Batman Returns star Danny DeVito). Batman Returns is also the one and only sequel Keaton has done to one of his own movies (he was a new addition with both Herbie: Fully Loaded and Toy Story 3). Could the director and actor change all that with Beetlejuice 2?
A sequel to Burton’s 1988 paranormal comedy has been in development a while, but Burton hasn’t committed to the idea yet. Nor has Keaton, who played the titular “ghost with the most” in the original Beetlejuice. According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is now apparently trying to lure the duo with the hire of a new screenwriter. Mike Vukadinovich, who co-wrote the new sci-fi drama Rememory, will rewrite what’s been drafted so far by producers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg.
Vukadinovich has also worked for Disney on the script for an animated Wind and the Willows spin-off, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, based on the Disneyland ride of the same name, as well as a live-action remake of the animated classic The Phantom Tollbooth, so he sounds like he’s on Burton’s wavelength as far as his project choices. Another connection: Rememory was written with Beetlejuice‘s Catherine O’Hara in mind for a role, though she was later replaced by Julia Ormond.
Although Burton hasn’t directed any other sequels since Batman Returns, he has produced a couple, both of which are follow-ups to his own movies: Batman Forever and Alice Through the Looking Glass. His debut directorial effort, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, sort of spawned a sequel (or two, depending on what constitutes a sequel for the Pee-wee Herman character’s universe), and Burton had been given the chance to helm one. Now he has the chance to do the sequel to his second feature.
We’ll hopefully know soon if he takes it, though we’ll likely hear if Keaton’s on board first since supposedly the director won’t do it without the actor.