In a story befitting a narrative about a wise-cracking ghost, it seems that Beetlejuice 2 is back in the mix on the Warner Bros. production slate. Despite repeated attempts to get a sequel to the 1988 original made, and despite the recent failure of nostalgia projects to connect with a wider audience, Beetlejuice is being readied for another comeback. As Tim Burton and Michael Keaton collaborate on Disney’s Dumbo, Warner Bros is hoping that they might be ready to jump back into the afterlife. In the meantime, according to Deadline, Mike Vukadinovich will starting tapping out a script for the long-awaited Beetlejuice follow-up.
Vukadinovich is the latest in a line of screenwriters to take on the task of writing a sequel to Beetlejuice. Over the last several years, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter author Seth Grahame-Green has been trying to put together a script, his work dating back to 2012 when he wrote the screenplay for Burton’s adaptation of Dark Shadows. Playwright Jonathan Gems was the first to work on a sequel screenplay, then called “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian” back in 1990. Though he could not get that one made, he did end up as a screenwriter on Burton’s Mars Attacks! in 1996. Pamela Norris, a former Saturday Night Live writer, also took a crack at Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian in 1993. Kevin Smith was also offered the gig in 1996.
And that brings us to Vukadinovich, who recently penned the Sundance hit Rememory starring Peter Dinklage. He also recently finished the screenplay for Mr Toad’s Wild Ride based on the Disneyland theme park attraction, and was one of the writers on the Marvel series Runaways. There’s no word on what direction the story will go in, and even Burton himself has confessed that a follow-up might be kind of superfluous. “It’s not a kind of a movie that cries out [for a sequel], it’s not the Beetlejuice trilogy,” Burton told Collider in 2016. “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.”
It’s worth noting that on March 30, 2018, Beetlejuice will turn 30 years old. The original Beetlejuice starred Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as a married couple who die and find their quiet country home overrun by a pair of yuppies and their goth daughter Lydia. When the ghosts can’t get rid of the living on their own, they turn to the “bio-exorcist” Beetlejuice, who ends up being more trouble then he’s worth.
So, will Beetlejuice finally return, and will he finally “go Hawaiian” as promised? We’ll have to wait and see.