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With Michael Keaton getting a serious amount of Oscar buzz for his performance in Birdman and Tim Burton earning some the best reviews he's seen in years for the true life drama Big Eyes, now is truly the perfect time for news to pop up about Beetlejuce 2... and so it has. While it's been a while since we last heard about the project, it turns out that it's now in a very good place and has a very good chance at happening.
Currently out promoting the upcoming release of Big Eyes, Tim Burton recently sat down with Coming Soon and revealed that things are really starting to progress with Beetlejuice 2 and that he's very excited about the prospect of reuniting with Michael Keaton on a project. Asked for an update on the project and his relationship with the actor, Burton said,
“It’s a character that I love and I miss and I miss actually working with Michael. There’s only one Betelgeuse. We’re working on a script and I think it’s probably closer than ever and I’d love to work with him again.”
Beetlejuice, of course, wasn't the only film that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton worked together on. They also collaborated on both Batman and Batman Returns - though they haven't worked together since 1992. Beetlejuice 2 would obviously end that streak.
We learned earlier this year that Michael Keaton and Tim Burton were meeting up to talk about Beetlejuice 2, and more than a year ago Winona Ryder said that she would be interested - but history has shown us that making a Beetlejuice sequel isn't actually so easy. Fans will remember that back in 1990 there was a plan to make Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian - which is pretty much exactly what you think it is. Sadly, both Burton and Keaton wound up moving on to make Batman Returns and never came back to the project. Beetlejuice 2 reemerged back in 2011 when Warner Bros. hired Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter writers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith to work on the script... and the film has been in development hell ever since.
So could Tim Burton possibly make Beetlejuice 2 as his next film? Probably not. Working with screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass), Burton is currently set to adapt Ransom Riggs' novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which 20th Century Fox has given a March 4, 2016 release date. If that project is going to stay on schedule, that means it needs to start filming in the first half of next year - which obviously makes it kind of a priority for the director. After that? Perhaps! The problem is that 2016 is still a long way away, and it's entirely possible that Burton could get distracted by another project within the next 15 months. We'll see what happens.