It’s official: “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega is set to appear in the much-anticipated sequel to Tim Burton’s 1988 cult classic, “Beetlejuice.” She will step into the role of the daughter of Lydia Deetz, the character that Winona Ryder brought to life in the original film.
Although details about the sequel are still shrouded in spectral mystery, Michael Keaton will once again don the black and white stripes of the ghastly Ghost With The Most. Winona Ryder will also reanimate the role of Lydia Deetz. Adding to the excitement, Justin Theroux has been cast in an undisclosed role, raising speculation about what new dynamic he might bring to the paranormal proceedings. (Fingers crossed for the return of Catherine O’Hara!)
According to Variety, production for “Beetlejuice 2” is slated to kick off in London on May 10, and Warner Brothers has already announced a release date: September 6, 2024.
The original “Beetlejuice” was a critical and commercial success, raking in $74.7 million at the box office and spawning a Tony-nominated stage musical. After a run of four years, interrupted by the pandemic, the Broadway show called it quits in January.
Indeed, the prospect of a sequel has been a topic of conversation ever since the original film bewitched audiences back in 1988. However, the project was sidelined in favor of Burton’s 1992 follow-up to his Batman series, Batman Returns. Despite this, the idea of a sequel to “Beetlejuice” remained alive, with Burton and Michael Keaton continuing to entertain the possibility. Keaton confirmed in 2014 that he had been in talks with Burton about reprising his role, adding fuel to the speculative fire. By 2017, Burton himself confirmed that a sequel was “closer than ever” to materializing. A script rewrite by Mike Vukadinovich that same year seemed to cement the sequel’s eventual emergence from the realm of speculation into reality. Now, the ghoulish magic of “Beetlejuice” is set to bewitch a new generation of viewers, while offering a nostalgic trip for those who fell in love with Burton’s unique blend of dark comedy and supernatural whimsy in the original film.
Jenna Ortega, the star of the sequel, is no stranger to making waves in the macabre. Her recent performances, most notably her viral dance scene in “Wednesday” – a homage to goth icon Siouxsie Sioux – have demonstrated her talent and versatility. Further, her role in “Scream VI” has earned accolades from various outlets. Although it remains to be seen how her involvement in “Beetlejuice 2” will unfold, the anticipation among fans of the original film is palpable.
As we eagerly wait in ghoulish glee, we can only hope that the sequel will pay tribute to the unforgettable dance sequences set to Harry Belafonte’s music (may he rest in peace) that defined the original film.