‘Beetlejuice’ sequel will bring back Michael Keaton and take place in present day, says writer

A sequel has been in the works since September 2011 with director Tim Burton interested in returning

The mooted Beetlejuice sequel is set in the present day and will bring back original star Michael Keaton, its screenwriter has revealed.

Keaton starred in the 1988 original as a so-called “bio-exorcist” trying to scare away the new human inhabitants of a haunted house so that a ghost couple, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, can continue living there. Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones and a 17-year-old Winona Ryder co-starred as the human family members.

A slow-moving sequel has been in the works at Warner Bros since September 2011 with Tim Burton interested in returning as director. Burton said last month (December) that the sequel is “closer than ever” to happening.

Now screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who also co-wrote the screenplay for Burton’s 2012 film Dark Shadows, has given an update on the project in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Grahame Smith confirmed that he has written a straight up sequel, not a reboot, with Michael Keaton’s title character returning in the present day. He also revealed that he has taken Keaton’s advice and used the Beetlejuice character sparingly, as he does not appear in the original film until near the halfway mark.

Earlier this year, Keaton said he would be “more than interested” in returning for a sequel provided Burton is involved. The actor, 62, is currently enjoying something of a career revival and won a Golden Globe award on Sunday (January 11) for his performance as a faded Hollywood star on the comeback trail in Birdman.