Sequels, prequels, remakes and spin offs, the Hollywood dream machine does seem to be currently running thin on the ground when it comes to creating new worlds and characters.
Hot on the heels of the news that director Ridley Scott was returning to the futuristic world of Blade Runner (1982), speculation is ripe that another beloved classic of the eighties is to be revisited with filmmaker Tim Burton set to direct a sequel to his supernatural and quirky breakthrough hit Beetlejuice (1988).
The original paranormal romp is a firm favourite for any child of the eighties whilst the movie with it’s blackly ghoulish and quirky comedy provided a career defining high for Michael Keaton.
Keaton was cast in the lead role of the weirdly named Beetlejuice, a sharply witted and offensive bio-exorcist hired by the newly deceased yuppie couple Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) to rid their home of the living.
Rumours have occasionally surfaced that Burton has contemplated resurrecting one of his most popular characters and the current speculation comes via Deadline.com with an article indicating that Warner Brothers are keen to employ the partnership of producer David Katzenberg and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith to pen a new adventure for Keaton’s afterlife troublemaker.
Grahame-Smith has recently worked with Burton on the forthcoming adaptation of the cult television soap opera Dark Shadows, during which the writer has apparently not only impressed the Brother Grimm of cinema but also the executives at Warner.
Keaton was once seen as Burton’s regular leading man and the actor has stated over the years that he would certainly work with the director again whilst the thought of anyone else attempting to fill the spook’s shoes is most definitely out of the question as far as we are concerned.
Added to that would be a wish list that would see Winona Ryder’s misfit teenager Lydia Deetz reunited with “The Ghost With The Most” twenty odd years latter.
Does returning to a franchise after a prolonged period actually work?
Not often, the overblown nature of the George Lucas directed Star Wars prequels and the overly complex and lacklustre nature of the Jack Nicholson sequel to Chinatown are just two prime examples whilst Burton’s output in recent years has been mixed to say the least.
Whilst nothing concrete exists in the way of rumoured casting or storyline, Burton is currently working on the aforementioned Dark Shadows and a re-make of his own short feature Frankenweenie (1984) whilst an animated re-imaging of The Adams Family is also on the cards.
If he does return to Beetlejuice let’s just hope that the laughs and quirkiness of the original gem is not forgotten.