Tim Burton’s involvement in “Beetlejuice 2” is no longer a rumor, as he’s officially in talks to direct the sequel for Warner Bros., multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Michael Keaton is expected to reprise his role as the titular fast-talking, black-and-white stripe-wearing ghost with the most.
The Geffen Company, which produced the 1988 classic, will produce the sequel with Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg of KatzSmith Productions. Grahame-Smith, who penned the Burton-produced adaptation of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” wrote the script that Warner Bros. has confidence in.
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TheWrap started looking into Burton’s schedule last week after word began to spread that 20th Century Fox’s fantasy film “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” may not be Burton’s next movie. Peter Chernin’s production company is producing the adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ bestselling novel.
The truth is that Burton hasn’t decided what his next movie will be, and while it definitely won’t be “Beetlejuice 2,” his long-rumored interest in a sequel is no mere flirtation anymore.
The timing feels right for a return to Beetlejuice’s graveyard, as the character remains a beloved part of pop culture who maintains a presence at theme parks around the world. The character also spawned a successful animated TV series.
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Not only is Burton looking to redeem himself after his “Dark Shadows” movie with Johnny Depp underperformed for WB, but Keaton himself is in the midst of a career renaissance, with starring roles in the “RoboCop” remake and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s comedy “Birdman.” Keaton also appeared in Larry David’s HBO movie “Clear History” and co-stars in DreamWorks’ tentpole “Need for Speed.”
Burton, who is coming off an Oscar nomination as the director of “Frankenweenie,” recently wrapped the Weinstein Company drama “Big Eyes,” which stars Amy Adams as painter Margaret Keane and Christoph Waltz as her credit-grabbing husband. Burton is represented by WME.