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It was confirmed last October that Tim Burton had entered talks to helm the upcoming Beetlejuice sequel, but the pre-production process has been a slow one for the project. Since the announcement we have barely heard a peep about the project - but that doesn't mean work isn't still being done. Michael Keaton has confirmed to MTV that he has had discussions with Burton about bringing back the Ghost With The Most.
Before you get to excited, you should know that it doesn't sound like Keaton is ready to start covering himself in special effects makeup just yet. While there have been some back-and-forth conversations between the actor and the director, things are still moving very slowly and the pieces aren't 100% together just yet. "I've e-mailed Tim a couple of times, talked to the writer a couple of times, but all really, really preliminary stuff," he said in the interview. "I always said that's the one thing I'd like to do again, if I ever did anything again. But it kind of required Tim to be involved some way or another." That appears to be the case, and as a result Keaton seems to be excited about the prospect of doing the sequel. Keaton added, "Without giving too much away, we've talked to each other, and e-mailed each other, and if he's in, it's going to be hard not to be in."
A reason behind the slow process could simply be that Burton is too hard at work on his next film, Big Eyes, a biopic about artists William and Margaret Keane. The film stars Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams as the leads and tells the story of how William exploited his wife for her popular art and tried to steal credit for her work. The outstanding supporting cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, Terence Stamp and Jon Polito and the movie is currently in post-production and aiming for release some time later this year.
As much as I love the idea of Keaton returning to the Beetlejuice character and potentially becoming an A-lister again, this whole project gives me pause. To say that Burton has been spotty over the last few years would be an understatement, and the script for the Beetlejuice sequel is being written by Seth Grahame Smith - the same guy who wrote the screenplay for the worst film of the director's career, Dark Shadows. It's possible that Burton returning to his roots will inspire him - like it seemed to do with Frankenweenie - but it could also just end up being a complete disaster.
Negotiations seem to be on-going, but I wonder if it would be possible for Beetlejuice 2 to get all of its ducks in a row in time to start production this year and have a finished product ready for 2015. At this stage it all seems like it's on Burton, so we'll just have to wait and see what moves he makes.