Tim Burton Says Filming "Beetlejuice 2" Reminded Him "Why I Like Making Movies"

Over 30 years after the original "Beetlejuice" was released in 1988, a sequel is finally in the works. The movie's director, Tim Burton, has been trying to get another movie off the ground for decades, but news that a follow-up project is in production at Warner Bros. was officially announced at CinemaCon on April 25, according to Screen Rant.

The big news followed reports (via Variety) that Jenna Ortega, who collaborated with Burton on their hit Netflix show, "Wednesday," was cast in the lead role of the daughter of Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder's character) in the film. Deadline had previously reported in February 2022 that Brad Pitt's Plan B production company would produce the project, and that Ryder and the original Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton, would reprise their characters. On May 9, Deadline confirmed that Justin Theroux had also joined the cast in an unclear role. In the same report, a Sept. 6, 2024 release date for the film was confirmed. (Warner Bros. reps did not immediately respond to POPSUGAR's request for confirmation.)

In a Sept. 9 interview with The Independent, Burton talked about how much he "enjoyed" making the sequel. "But I do enjoy all the people I've worked with. On this last one, Beetlejuice 2, I really enjoyed it," he told the outlet. "I tried to strip everything and go back to the basics of working with good people and actors and puppets. It was kind of like going back to why I liked making movies." He said that the project, which started filming before the SAG-AFTRA strike started in July, "is 99 percent done."

The original "Beetlejuice" is a comedy-horror staple that follows a newly deceased couple, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, in their quest to reclaim their home from the eccentric family who has since moved in. Beetlejuice, a trickster of the afterlife, "helps" the couple achieve their goal. In addition to its distinct aesthetic perspective, the film is also known for its dinner-table scene set to "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by the late Harry Belafonte.

Various follow-ups have been floated since the film's release in the late '80s. Burton at one point considered a vacation sequel titled "Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian" but was sidetracked by "Batman Returns," which also starred Keaton. Warner Bros., which distributed the first film, started to pursue a sequel more seriously in the last decade, but by 2019, a spokesperson confirmed the project had been shelved.

Despite the back-and-forth, the cast remained enthusiastic about the possibility of a sequel. "I love Lydia so much. She was such a huge part of me," Ryder said in a 2013 interview with The Daily Beast. Ryder said she would never do it without Keaton and Burton, however: "Because those guys, I love." Keaton shared a similar sentiment to MTV News in 2014: "I always said that's the one thing I'd like to do again, if I ever did anything again. But it kind of required Tim to be involved some way or another."

With the film officially greenlit, it's only a matter of time before more details start trickling out. Here's what we know for now.

"Beetlejuice" Sequel Cast

According to Deadline, Keaton and Ryder will play their original characters in the sequel. Ortega will portray Ryder's daughter, the outlet said. Theroux rounds out the currently announced cast in an unnamed role.

"Beetlejuice" Sequel Release Date

The film will be released on Sept. 6, 2024, Deadline reported.