Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
After decades of rumours, a Beetlejuice sequel looks like it's finally on the cards. Tim Burton is set to direct again, with Michael Keaton donning that iconic stripy suit once more. Meanwhile, Winona Ryder seemingly confirmed that she'll reprise her role as Lydia Deetz. We're sure there'll be at least a few nods to the original, but with no other official news and not even a Handbook For The Recently Deceased to give us pointers, for now its up to fans to fill in the gaps. Heres a rundown of what wed like to see in the forthcoming Beetlejuice sequel
The ghost with the most
Despite his being the title of the film, we dont know much about the character of Beetlejuice himself. In the 1988 movie, Michael Keatons screen time only clocks in at around 17 minutes, and all we know about him are a few snippets of info from Adam and Barbara Maitland's afterlife caseworker Juno. Juno mentions that Beetlejuice was her partner before going solo as a freelance bio-exorcist, claiming to be able to get rid of the living. This is all we know about Beetlejuice to date but perhaps the sequel will shed a little light on the mischievous spirit. Why did he go freelance? Why must we say his name three times? How did he die? So many unanswered questions
Strange and unusual
Will we see Lydia explore the afterlife in the sequel? Having Winona Ryder reprise her role as Lydia Deetz does pose the question of what she's been up to in the 27-plus years since the original movie? In the animated series, Lydia and Beetlejuice are friends and she has the ability to travel to the Netherworld. In the film, however, Lydia can communicate with the dead but not travel between worlds will the movie take inspiration from the cartoon?
Welcome to the afterlife
Your afterlife caseworker is always there for all your deathly needs. Juno is the only caseworker were introduced to in Beetlejuice but its assumed that everyone who passes on is assigned a different caseworker as we can see from the huge queue in the waiting room. If Lydia had the ability to pass between the two worlds in the sequel, perhaps she could find herself as a caseworker for the dead herself. Do caseworkers have to have any special death skills in order to qualify for the job? This world and the strange characters who inhabit it could definitely be explored a little more.
Its a family affair
If Lydias parents return, theyll probably still be as mad and infuriating as ever. Delia (Catherine OHara) and Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones) were just as integral to original film as the deceased Maitlands, Lydia and Beetlejuice. As Lydias oddball parents, they become true believers by the end, living peacefully with the Maitlands; Delia had become inspired as an artist by Beetlejuice and Charles finally found peace in his study! Its doubtful well be revisiting the Maitlands ghosts dont age, and Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin cant really play their younger selves any more, unless there's some expensive CGI de-ageing. But it would be fun to see what Lydias stepmother, Delia, is up to now. We can imagine Delia as an eccentric older artist who, having found success with her art from her previous brush with Beetlejuice, has found the work has dried up, and now shes looking for her next inspiration from the other side perhaps?
Theres a whole undead universe to explore starting with The World of Limbo. The World of Limbo was originally meant to be depicted by giant gears and lock hands that cut through fabric, which represented time. Unfortunately, this was cut from the original film, and Tim Burton replaced this idea with the strange planet we see in the film, where the Maitlands meet the giant sandworm who devours Beetlejuice at the end of the movie. But what if the Netherworld was many places, represented by the psyche of the individual. Playing with the imagery of the World of Limbo with updated effects could bring another layer to the story and the Burtonesque imagery in the sequel.
Always read the manual
The Handbook For The Recently Deceased is every ghosts handy guide to the afterlife. It's clearly rather confusing being trapped between the land of the living and the dead, but luckily for the Maitlands they find the Handbook For The Recently Deceased. The handbook acts like stereo instructions for the newly dead and we only get to hear a few tips from the book in the original film. The book appears mysteriously and Delias interior designer Otho (Glenn Shadix) happens to find the book later in the film. Delving a little more into the books author and origins would be a great nod to the 1988 film and perhaps well get to find out some more useful advice.
Theres a darker side to death and we may have had a glimpse of it in the original film. Despite the colourful B-movie feel and kitsch humour in the original, death not all laughs and japes yknow! Theres a room that the Maitlands enter after visiting caseworker Juno for the first time and it doesnt look fun A janitor remarks that its The Lost Souls' Room where ghosts who have been exorcised end up, a fate that Adam and Barbara escape by the end of the film. We dont want the sequel to lose its sense of fun but knowing more about the darker side of death would give the sequel a little edge.
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch!
Lets talk about fun cameos, namely Harry Belafonte! Harry Belafontes Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) features in that iconic dining room scene in the original. It was Catherine OHara who convinced Tim Burton to go with a calypso music theme, which would bring a little more energy to the scene Burton originally intended the music to be a track by The Ink Spots. The track was also played at the memorial service of the late Glenn Shadix (who played Otho). Harry Belafonte is still alive and well and a surprise cameo as a singing ghost, perhaps? would be the icing on the gravestone-shaped cake. Please make it happen Mr. Burton! For the best on fantasy movies, subscribe to SFX.