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Beetlejuice Could Rise Again

by  in Movie News Comment
<i>Beetlejuice</i> Could Rise Again

Someone — I won’t point fingers — apparently didn’t heed the warning about saying “Betelgeuse” three times, as Deadline contends Warner Bros. may at last summon a sequel to the 1988 Tim Burton hit Beetlejuice.

It’s not the first, or even second, time a sequel has been considered to the dark comedy, which starred Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as a recently deceased young couple that employs an obnoxious, out-of-control “bio-exorcist” named Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) to scare away the  family (Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones) that’s moved into their home.

The success of Beetlejuice spawned a Saturday-morning cartoon, and led Burton in 1990 to hire Jonathan Gems, who would go on to pen Mars Attacks!, to write Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. A year later he approached Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters to give the script another pass before deciding to sign him for Batman Returns. Troop Beverly Hills screenwriter Pamella Norris was hired at one point for a rewrite, and Kevin Smith was offered the job in 1996 but passed.

Now, however, the sequel is “a distinct possibility,” thanks to Warner Bros.’ new first-look producing deal with KatzSmith Productions partners David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. The latter is by now familiar as the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, two literary mash-ups making their way through Hollywood. He also has a relationship with Burton, for whom he penned the scripts for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows.

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