Michael Keaton Praises Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice 2’ Practical Effects ‘After Years of Standing in Front of a Giant Screen’

The actor says he “was totally not interested” in doing a project with “too much technology”: “It had to feel handmade”

Michael Keaton at a double feature of "Batman" and "The Flash" (Getty Images)
Michael Keaton at a double feature of "Batman" and "The Flash" (Credit: Getty Images)

Michael Keaton revealed that he and “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” director Tim Burton didn’t want to lean too heavily on CGI for their upcoming sequel to the 1988 cult comedy.

The film, due in September, reunites the actor and director after their work on “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” Keaton told People in an interview published Monday that they wanted to nail the long-awaited follow-up after talking about returning to the story after all these years.

“It’s the most exciting thing,” Keaton said. “When you get to do that again after years of standing in front of a giant screen, pretending somebody’s across the way from you, this is just enormous fun.”

Keaton will reprise the titular role of a demon hired in the original installment by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin’s ghosts to scare new owners out of a home where they used to live. Catherine O’Hara and Winona Ryder will also return to the sequel film alongside newcomers Jenna Ortega and Monica Bellucci.

“The one thing that [Burton] and I decided early, early, early on from the beginning, if we ever did it again, I was totally not interested in doing something where there was too much technology,” Keaton said. “It had to feel handmade.”

He referred to a shrunken head room scene as an example.

“What made it fun was watching somebody in the corner actually holding something up for you, to watch everybody in the shrunken head room and say, ‘Those are people under there, operating these things, trying to get it right,’” he continued.

The sequel arrives in theaters Sept. 6. Keaton acknowledged the anticipation and pressure, for both him and Burton, of revisiting the story years after the first film came out.

“We thought, ‘You got to get this right. Otherwise, just don’t do it. Let’s just go on with our lives and do other things.’ So I was hesitant and cautious, and he was probably equally as hesitant and cautious over all these years,” he said. “Once we got there, I said, ‘OK, let’s just go for it. Let’s just see if we can do it, if we can pull this off.’”


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