When it was first reported that David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith were going to begin their producing partnership by working on a sequel to the Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, it didn’t really sound like a good idea to me. At first glance it seems like Beetlejuice is a very specifically Tim Burton movie, and the idea of somebody else working in that universe feels strange and off-putting. Why would you even want to make another Beetlejuice unless you were Tim Burton? That would be like somebody who wasn’t Quentin Tarantino saying they were going to make a sequel to Pulp Fiction.
But when Grahame-Smith said that he would only do the movie if he got Burton’s blessing and if Michael Keaton came back to star as the titular ghost with the most, the idea started to sound less crazy. I mean, seeing somebody else working in this world that is so visually Burton’s vision would still be a little weird, but who wouldn’t be interested at the possibility of Keaton slipping back into one of his most outlandish and iconic roles? I’ve found my skepticism about a Beetlejuice sequel waning over time.
And that continues now that there’s some confirmation that Burton is, in fact, going to be involved with this movie in some way. While talking to the people at MTV about his current projects Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, Burton took a minute to address his own feelings about the developing sequel. On doing another Beetlejuice he said, “I love that character, and Michael is so great in it. I always think about how great and fun that character was, so I just said to Seth, ‘If you have some idea about it, go for it, and then I’ll look at it freshly.’ In the past, I tried some things, but that was way back when. He seemed really excited about it.” It’s nice to hear Burton is being kept in the loop on this one, but how deep will his involvement go?
It’s hard to tell at this point, because Burton hasn’t actually seem any of Grahame-Smith’s work yet. According to the director, “I told him to try some stuff, but he hasn’t come back to me yet.” Since he seems so keen on seeing what gets written and giving it his own “fresh look,” does this mean he might be considering coming back and directing himself? I guess time will tell, but, either way, it has to be seen as a positive that he’s getting some say in this movie’s direction.