Michael Keaton Avoided Technology While Filming ‘Beetlejuice 2’

Beetlejuice key art, l-r: Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, 1988
Warner Bros. Pictures/Everett Collection

It is almost time! The highly-anticipated sequel, officially titled Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, is coming to theaters in September. Now, many of its stars are promoting the film, including Michael Keaton, who is making his comeback as the titular character in the sequel to the 1988 classic. Keaton revealed that reuniting with Tim Burton for the new film was “the most fun I’ve had on set in a long time.”

After working on several films that were heavy in technology, Keaton wanted to make sure that this sequel felt very reminiscent of the original. He added, “On one hand, you’d go, ‘Well, of course it’s the most fun. It looks like fun.’ As you know, it doesn’t always work like that. The one thing that [Tim] and I decided on early, early, early on from the beginning, if we ever did it again, I was totally not interested in doing something where there was too much technology. It had to feel handmade. It’s the most exciting thing. When you get to do that again after years of standing in front of a giant screen, pretending somebody’s across the way from you, this is just enormous fun.”

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice advance poster, 2024

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

He said that Burton wanted to make sure that there were a lot of practical effects on the set. Keaton explained, “Beetlejuice is the most f—–’ fun you can have working. It’s so fun, it’s so great. And you know what it is? We’re doing it exactly like we did the first movie. There’s a woman in the great waiting room for the afterlife literally with a fishing line – I want people to know this because I love it – tugging on the tail of a cat to make it move.”

Beetlejuice Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, 1988

Everett Collection

Keaton, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara will reprise their roles in the film along with new cast members Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe, Monica Bellucci, and Justin Theroux. Ortega has been opening up about playing Ryder’s daughter in the film. She said that the town of East Corinth in Vermont got a makeover to look just like it did in the original film and Ortega also mentioned the practical effects that Burton worked so hard on.

She shared, “They rebuilt Winter River, which was insane. All of the locals were so excited. But we were able to finish all of our Winter River stuff so that when the strike hit, they could take it all down. I remember it being super-weird energy on set the last week. For a lot of the cast that was revisiting Vermont, it felt weird to rush such a sentimental moment for them, seeing that house again and being together and calling each other by the same names again. But for the most part, up until the very last day, I feel like the shoot was a celebration of everyone being back together and doing practical effects again. It was probably the happiest I had ever seen Tim on a set, where he’s clapping at the monitor and shouting and laughing, which was really, really endearing.” While she wasn’t sure how much she could speak on the new film or her character, she did admit that she plays Lydia Deetz’s daughter, Astrid and they are very different and butt heads a lot.

Are you excited to see the sequel this fall?

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