I love this story so much it’s not even funny. As you may or may not know, nearly everyone in Hollywood plays the “PC” game, meaning, every answer they give is a load of horse sh*t. Winona Ryder doesn’t play that game.
This past weekend the cast and crew of Frankenweenie took to Disneyland in California to talk about the animated pic arriving in theaters October 5.
With both Ryder and Tim Burton taking part, it was only a matter of time until some fresh Beetlejuice talk hit the Web. While Burton is said to be part of the project (it’s unclear if he’ll direct), Seth Grahame-Smith, the screenwriter behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is working on the current draft. Michael Keaton is also said be returning.
“At the Frankenweenie press junket in Anaheim on Sunday, a reporter enthusiastically told Winona Ryder that she was very excited for Beetlejuice 2 and hoped that Ryder would be in the movie,” says Flixist. “Ryder had just spent the fifteen minutes prior gushing about her emotional connection to all of her roles in Burton’s movies, with a particular emphasis on Lydia. Given that, you’d think she might be pretty enthusiastic about the new movie, or at least somewhat optimistic. Instead, her response was a heavy sigh, a roll of the eyes, and a “Yeah, that would be…great.”
Tim Burton himself seemed more optimistic about the project, but was surprisingly hands-off about the whole thing. When asked about the project, he sounded somewhat uncomfortable and gave a non-answer. “Somebody’s writing a version, but I’m sort of…not making any preconceived ideas about it, and…not over-thinking something that I haven’t seen, so I’m just kind of keeping an open mind about it and seeing what comes.” Burton said that he is passionate about every project he goes into, so he could just have his mind on other work, but it seems odd for him to be quite as distant as he is. Thanks to BD reader Matthew R. for the tip.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Timur Bekmambetov-directed and Seth Grahame-Smith scripted revisionist take on the life of the 16th President of the United States opens on June 22nd.
I recently hopped on the phone with Smith to talk about the film and his experience working with Bekmambetov. We also talked about some of his upcoming projects including Beetlejuice 2, Unholy Night and the oft-delayed Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.
The film, “explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold history that shaped our nation. As a young boy, Abraham Lincoln witnesses the shocking death of his mother, leading him on a path to an ongoing war – and ultimately to the presidency – he chronicles in a hidden diary. His journal reveals the incredible story of a clandestine warrior who never stopped fighting for the country he led and the people he loved.”
Benjamin Walker stars as “Honest Abe”, with Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Robin McLeavy, Robin McLeavy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jimmi Simpson and Alan Tudyk.
Head inside for the interview and don’t forget to Become a fan on Facebook. READ MORE
I met up with writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Pride, Prejudice And Zombies) today at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills to talk about Dark Shadows. While he’s made a name for himself with his novels and has several high-profile screenplay credits on the horizon, it’s his first major release as a screenwriter. We had a nice long chat about the film, the bulk of which will be hitting later this week. But I figured I’d go ahead and share his update on Beetlejuice 2 with you guys. It’s not too much different than updates he’s offered in the past, though things seem to be progressing – and he’s acknowledging that some other favorite characters may return.
I have to ask, what’s that status of Beetlejuice 2?
The status is everyone’s waiting for me to get off my ass. I’ve met with Michael Keaton about it, I’ve met with Tim [Burton] about it. Warner Brothers is obviously eager. But right now the ball’s in my court to sort of crack the story that will make it worth of doing this again. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it to you. I don’t want to have to look fans in the face and apologize for making a bad Beetlejuice movie, because it’s one of my favorite movies. And I don’t want to make anything just because I can. I don’t think Tim would participate [with those motives in mind] and I certainly know Michael wouldn’t. If we get something worthy…
Any chance of Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis or Winona Ryder’s characters returning?
It’s all possible. In terms of the story, however many years that are between the two films will be the amount of years that are between the two story lines. It’s not a reboot or a remake, it’s a straight sequel with Michael Keaton returning as Beetlejuice.
Check back later in the week for the rest of the interview. Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Helena Bonham Carter. It opens this Friday, May 8th.
Seth Grahame-Smith is, to say the least, a busy guy. His revision of the birth of Jesus and the three wise men, “Unholy Night”, is published tomorrow. He also wrote Dark Shadows for Tim Burton and adapted his book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for Timur Bekmambetov. But that doesn’t mean we won’t write the screenplays for Unholy Night, Beetlejuice 2 and a new project called Night Of The Living in quick succession.
He told the Hollywood Reporter, “‘Night of the Living’ is an idea I have had around for years that I’m doing with Tim Burton. When we were shooting ‘Dark Shadows’ last year I worked up the nerve to tell Tim about it because I always thought it would make a good movie. When I saw what he had done with ‘Frankweenie and Corpse Bride’, it always struck me as a great idea for that form. I’m writing it at Warner’s Bros. for him (as a stop-motion monster movie). As soon I’m done with that draft, I’ll move into ‘Unholy Night’, probably in a matter of weeks. Once we have a script and we’ll get together with David Heyman and the studio, we’ll go looking for a director. The ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel will come after ‘Unholy Night’ in my schedule. The first opportunity to tackle that will probably be later this year.”
Smith is actually down the road a bit with Beetlejuice 2, he’s been discussing the project with both Tim Burton and Michael Keaton for a while now so it’s not necessarily a pipe dream. It could happen. While I’m not necessarily fond of the mashups he’s done with “Lincoln” or “Pride, Prejudice And Zombies”, he’s still an unknown quantity as a screenwriter to me. People seem to like working with him, maybe he’s better suited to the screenwriting trade than he is to gimmicky novels.
Hoping to survive the news onslaught this weekend, here’s another “News Bites” rounding up some brief stories floating around the web.
The other day STYD, along with a few others news outlets, met with Seth Grahame-Smith about his upcoming film, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, where talked about Michael Keaton’s involvement in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice 2. “It’s a reality in the sense that I met with Michael Keaton last week,” Grahame-Smith told the site. “We talked for a couple of hours and talked about big picture stuff. It’s a priority for Warner Bros. It’s a priority for Tim.” He continues talking about Keaton’s excitement level: “Huge…he’s been wanting to do it for 20 years and he’ll talk to anybody about it who will listen. I really told him, I have a huge reverence for Tim and a huge reverence for that film in general. I don’t think we should do it if we shit on the legacy. He agrees. So, right now, it remains to be seen, I have a couple of story ideas, but we’re very early out.”
The press were also given a new still from Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Timur Bekmambetov-directed historical retelling that stars Benjamin Walker as the title character. In theaters June 22, “The story revolves around the president’s quest to rid the world of vampires, presented as part of the conflict behind the Civil War.”
Lastly, Lionsgate is going viral with a series of pretty cool motion posters for the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer The Hunger Games, their adaptation in theaters March 23 that mirrors classics like Battle Royale and Running Man. The viral posters are futuristic ads selling products to the “elite”. It’s actually the first time motion posters legitimately make sense. The Gary Ross-directed pic is “set in post-apocalyptic America, Hunger Games introduces 16-year-old heroine Katniss Everdeen, who must participate in a fight-to-the-death annual event called the Hunger Games. The battles are televised, and pit youths from each of the Capitol’s 12 Districts against each other.” READ MORE