A few weeks ago Michael Keaton sorta kinda confirmed his involvement in Beetlejuice 2. Tim Burton appears to be directing. Seth Grahame-Smith is currently writing the script. While the film is still many, many steps away from a green light it’s certainly in development and there’s a reasonable chance it could happen. And, while there’s no guarantee this thing will be any good, it’s also not yet the assured disaster that Ghostbusters 3 is (should that film ever actually get off the ground).
But I’m actually hopeful it will be good. For one, Beetlejuice 2 seems to be retaining its main attraction – Michael Keaton. While you could make an argument that the concepts and worlds of both Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice have merits that would attract their respective fanbases no matter who was involved, there’s a big difference between attracting your fanbase and pleasing it. Ghostbusters 3 will be catastrophically hobbled by Bill Murray’s absence. Beetlejuice 2 may or may not bring back Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder or Catherine O’Hara (I seriously doubt they’d bring back Jeffrey Jones), but at least it has its marquee name. And Keaton’s recent work in films like The Other Guys suggests he still has the comic chops to pull it off.
But the main reason I’m able to be cautiously optimistic? Frankenweenie. Last year Tim Burton made a creative comeback by going back to the beginning of his career and reassessing it with new eyes and the result was wonderful. And unexpected. I honestly didn’t think he had a picture like that in him after Alice In Wonderland and Dark Shadows. Of course, like all of the best Tim Burton movies*, Frankenweenie underperformed at the box office. But I’m hopeful that he doesn’t let the sting of that perceived failure smother whatever may have reawakened inside of him.
Of course, Seth Grahame-Smith is writing the movie and I haven’t really been a huge fan of his film stuff thus far (I haven’t read his books but mashups most assuredly aren’t my thing). He even wrote Dark Shadows for Burton – which admittedly isn’t a great example of what these two are capable of when paired up. But I’m not prepared to disavow his ability to do good work just yet. Francis Lawrence, a director who has had several creative misses with films like I Am Legend and Water For Elephants, appears to have fashioned a truly great film out of the upcoming Catching Fire – so there’s always a chance for people to up their game. Plus, the world of Beetlejuice is fairly ripe with possibility.
So… yeah. There are hurdles here, I won’t lie. But if you had asked me if I thought Frankenweenie was going to be any good at this stage in its development I would have rolled my eyes. Instead, I saw the film and nearly cried them out. So while I’m not placing all of my chips on Beetlejuice 2 just yet, I at least feel semi-reasonable in my hope that it’ll work out. Every creative person has fallow periods, perhaps Burton has found a way out of his.
* Seriously. When your best film (Ed Wood) makes less than six million dollars and your worst (Alice In Wonderland) makes over a billion worldwide, that has to be a bit of a mindf*ck. Not every artist’s fallow period is so wildly successful.
Beetlemania lives — inside a cramped studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, jokes the NY Daily News. The tight quarters house the city’s smallest and silliest museum, a kitschy conglomeration of collectibles that breathes new life into its famously undead muse: Beetlejuice.
“It’s so much fun!” says curator/tenant Bruce Christensen to the mag, whose fascination with the seedy movie character memorably played by Michael Keaton dates back 15 years. “This is definitely one of the top 10 attractions in New York City.”
Christensen’s inspiration for the unique assortment of tiny plastic toys, bobblehead dolls, collectible cards and other Beeetle-juicy items came early one morning, as he described in the following video, where he found a toy in a bargain box. The cartoon was what revived his love for the franchise: “For years, I left the TV on when I went to bed,” he explains during a spin around the museum. “One day I woke up and the cartoon was on, and I just loved it.”
Below we’ve added a video, while you can read more about the museum by clicking the above link. 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.
A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a “bio-exorcist” in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.
Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist attempts to woo investigative journalist Veronica Quaife by offering her a scoop on his latest research in the field of matter transportation, which against all the expectations of the scientific establishment have proved successful. Up to a point. Brundle thinks he has ironed out the last problem when he successfully transports a living creature, but when he attempts to teleport himself a fly enters one of the transmission booths, and Brundle finds he is a changed man. This Science-Gone-Mad film is the source of the quotable quote “Be