The Sad Reason Why Beetlejuice 2 May Never Happen 》

These days, everything ’80s seems to be making a comeback. We have seen ’80s icon Winona Ryder return to prominence in the Netflix hit Stranger Things. Meanwhile, Michael Keaton is bringing his 1989 Batman back in DC’s upcoming movie The Flash.

With all this nostalgia in the air, some fans want to see Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton reunite and finally give us a sequel to their 1988 hit Beetlejuice, directed by Tim Burton. After all, three decades after its release the Beetlejuice franchise refuses to remain dead and buried.

The perennial movie favorite spawned a cartoon series that ran from 1989-1991, a wickedly funny musical in 2018, and a small mountain of merchandise that continues to come out year after year. So, why haven’t we seen a big-screen sequel?

Sadly, Beetlejuice 2 seems like it may be stuck in the “Neitherworld” (as the cartoon called it), and those pesky Sandworms aren’t to blame. Keep reading to discover the sad reason why Beetlejuice 2 may never happen!

A Beetlejuice sequel in the ’90s fell through

While Beetlejuice remains relatively popular, it may seem strange to create a belated sequel more than three decades after the original. Why didn’t we get a sequel in the early ’90s, when the Beetlejuice cartoon was still on the air and toys were lining the shelves?

Actually, Tim Burton was seriously planning a sequel at the time. In 1990, he hired Jonathan Gems (best known to genre fans for later writing Mars Attacks!) to write a sequel called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. This sequel would see the Deetz family (Winona Ryder’s Lydia, her real estate mogul father Charles, played by Jeffrey Jones, and her sculptor stepmother Delia, played by Catherine O’Hara) trying to develop a Hawaiian resort when Beetlejuice disturbs a burial ground and unleashes hijinks.

Why did we never see Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian? Ironically, the success of Tim Burton and Michael Keaton’s other film of the time, 1989’s Batman, led to its own demand for a sequel. And when those two had to focus their energy on making 1992’s Batman Returns, the initial Beetlejuice sequel plans fell through.

Though fans might be sad they never got this sequel, one of the original Beetlejuice screenwriters, Larry Wilson, thinks fans dodged a bullet: the sequel’s script just wasn’t worthy of the original. “In terms of Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, wiser heads prevailed,” he told USA Today in 2019. “Thank God there’s a level of integrity here.”

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A new screenwriter was hired in 2011

Frankly, it’s difficult to even imagine another Beetlejuice movie without the signature style of the original script. But when it looked like Warner Bros. wouldn’t be able to bring Beetlejuice back anytime soon, other writers were considered over the years.

In 1996, Warner Bros. approached Kevin Smith to write a Beetlejuice sequel. Smith was hot off the success of his surprise 1994 hit Clerks, but he passed on this opportunity to write a film called Superman Lives instead. It was an ambitious script intended to resurrect the Superman franchise (and ironically, also slated to be directed by Burton), but it too soon landed in development hell and never emerged.

Still, the idea of a Beetlejuice sequel refused to die. In 2011, the studio tapped Seth Grahame-Smith (best known for writing the book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as well as its film adaptation) to write a script. According to Grahame-Smith in February 2012 (via, Beetlejuice 2 was a “priority” for both Warner Bros. and Tim Burton. He also revealed that Michael Keaton was down to resurrect his ghost with the most. “He’s been wanting to do it for 20 years and he’ll talk to anybody about it who will listen,” Grahame-Smith said.

Still, even though he was hired to write a script, Grahame-Smith seemed to try to temper expectations that the film would actually happen. “Right now, it remains to be seen. I have a couple of story ideas, but we’re very early out.”