'Beetlejuice' Sequel Is Dead, Won't Be Returning From The Grave

You can try saying his name three times in a row, but it looks like Beetlejuice isn't coming back. There's been talk of a potential Beetlejuice sequel ever since Tim Burton's supernatural comedy arrived in 1988, but according to Burton himself, any prospect of a return of Michael Keaton's ghost with the most is dead. While this will no doubt break the hearts of Hot Topic shoppers everywhere, it's probably for the best.

In 2015, Lydia Deetz herself, Winona Ryder, confirmed the prospect of a Beetlejuice sequel. And in 2017, word broke that new screenwriter was hired to pen a sequel script. But the film never actually materialized, and now, Tim Burton has exorcised this demon once and for all. When asked by USA Today if the sequel would ever happen, Burton replied: "I don't know. I doubt it." And when pressed if the project was still in any state of development, script or otherwise, Burton answered in the negative. USA Today also reached out to Warner Bros. for comment, and received word that "the project isn't in active development."

Beetlejuice opened in 1988, and was one of Burton's earliest hits on his way to becoming a blockbuster director. The story followed the Maitlands (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), a couple who die in a car accident and end up trapped in their house as ghosts. The afterlife wouldn't be so bad were it not for the Deetz family, a group of oddballs who move into the Maitland home and proceed to destroy everything the Maitlands worked for. The only sympathetic Deetz is Lydia, a strange and unusual girl who has the ability to see ghosts. In order to get rid of the Deetz family, the Maitlands summon "bio-exorcist" Beetlejuice, played with over-the-top glee by Michael Keaton. This turns out to be a big mistake, since Beetlejuice is kind of a creep.

The film is funny and odd, and still holds up, which is more than you can say for a lot of Burton's other films. After the box office success of Beetlejuice, Warner Bros. had hopes for a sequel. In 1990, Burton commission a sequel called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian (yes, really). In the story, the Deetz family move to Hawaii to develop a resort. The problem is, the resort is being built over "the burial ground of an ancient Hawaiian Kahuna. The spirit comes back from the afterlife to cause trouble, and Beetlejuice becomes a hero by winning a surf contest with magic." Everyone was game to do this extremely weird idea, but it never happened.

The script kicked around for a while, and at one point, Kevin Smith was asked to take a crack at a it. Smith passed for another potential Burton project: Superman Lives. That, too, never came together, as I'm sure you know by now. While it could've been fun to see Keaton put on his stripped suit and ham it up again, I think it's safe to say the time has long passed for a Beetlejuice sequel. If you're really craving more Beetlejuice in your life, you can go check out the Beetlejuice musical now playing on Broadway.