FUCK. OR: Beetlejuice 2 – Seriously?
No, your eyes do not deceive you; the title does say Beetlejuice 2. Right after ‘fuck.’ (Yeah, I know, I swear a lot, but I maintain that profanity is a totally valid and necessary form of expression. Especially in times like these.)
The idea for a sequel to Beetlejuice isn’t a new one – it’s almost as old as the movie itself. I’ll let the good folks at Wikipedia explain:
In 1990, [Tim] Burton hired Jonathan Gems to write a sequel titled Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. “Tim thought it would be funny to match the surfing backdrop of a beach movie with some sort of German Expressionism, because they’re totally wrong together,” Gems reflected. The story followed the Deetz family moving to Hawaii, where Charles is developing a resort. They soon discover that his company is building on the burial ground of an ancient Hawaiian Kahuna. The spirit comes back from the afterlife to cause trouble, and Betelgeuse becomes a hero by winning a surf contest with magic. Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder agreed to do the film, on the condition that Burton directed, but he became distracted with Batman Returns.
Burton was still interested with Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian in early 1991. Impressed with Daniel Waters’ work on Heathers, Burton approached him for a rewrite. However, he eventually signed Waters to write the script for Batman Returns. By August 1993, producer David Geffen hired Pamella Norris (Troop Beverly Hills, Saturday Night Live) to rewrite. Warner Bros. approached Kevin Smith in 1996 to rewrite the script, though Smith turned down the offer in favor of Superman Lives. Smith responded with, “Didn’t we say all we needed to say in the first Beetlejuice? Must we go tropical?” In March 1997, Gems released a statement saying “The Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian script is still owned by The Geffen Film Company and it will likely never get made. You really couldn’t do it now anyway. Winona is too old for the role, and the only way they could make it would be to totally recast it.”
I’d like to stop for a minute – why is the character’s name spelled Betelgeuse, but the title of the film is Beetlejuice? Is there a joke I’m missing? I don’t get it.
Anyway, just when you thought the concept of genre mash-up featuring a surf movie and German expressionism was dead, it gets resurrected. (That pun was not intentional.) Don’t get me wrong, I loved Beetlejuice, but why in the hell would someone want to make a sequel? Not only that, I love Michael Keaton (who doesn’t get enough play), and I’d watch that guy in anything, but why would he want to make this movie at this point in his career? And didn’t it occur to anybody that the success of the first movie might have had something to do with right place, right time, all that stuff? I know, I’m asking a lot of questions that can’t be answered, but this is crazy. There must be a million scripts out there that Tim Burton could commission for development, and making a sequel after twenty years has become a disturbing trend that needs to stop. This is mostly Sly Stallone‘s fault, but I digress…
You know what? The hell with it. Ruin the original for me, I don’t give a shit anymore. While you’re at it, someone commission The Godfather: Part 4 – Micheal’s Revenge in which Al Pacino rises from the grave and kicks ASS. He becomes a cop and goes after all of the mobs for leading his life down a path of ruin. His partner is a bazooka wielding midget: the last scene of the trailer is a tank bearing down on them in the middle of Fifth Avenue, at which Pacino calmly lights a cigarette and says, “Say hello to my little friend!” and BOOM! Bazooka!
Or make Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. Whatever.