Sequels to childhood favorites are the Schrodinger's Cat of potential film projects. They coexist in that grey area between excellent ideas, and the fieriest of damnation; and as time has gone on, we still have a hard time deciding which is which. In the case of Beetlejuice 2, we may not ever have to make the call ourselves, as Michael Keaton feels the hypothetical film is soon going to join the land of the recently deceased.
His evaluation of the long rumored, but ultimately dormant project came from a piece run in the latest issue of Variety. Keaton delivers the blow with a quick, and sharp statement that says it all.
It's possible that ship has sailed.
Now it's easy for an actor such as Michael Keaton to simply pronounce a project like Beetlejuice 2 dead. However, it's something entirely different, and incredibly smart, when a damned good reason is given to back such words. Keaton, true to form, delivered such words in the following reasons for why the project is ultimately better off dead:
The only way to do it is to do it right. So much of it was improvised and so much was beautifully handmade by the artist that is Tim Burton. If you can't get close to that, you leave it alone.
As much as we may want to see Michael Keaton return to a role that he's always been passionate about, we can't argue with the man's logic. If Beetlejuice 2 can't even approach the level of artistry and just plain fun that Beetlejuice gave us so long ago, then why even bother?
While Beetlejuice 2 has been a project that has drawn some recurring buzz over the decades between the original film's release and today, it's only been in the last couple of years that we've actually seen movement on the film taking place. In fact, not only has Michael Keaton spoken towards the project in interviews, so have Tim Burton and Winona Ryder as well. Plus, previous Burton collaborator Seth Grahame-Smith had been tapped for writing duties on the long awaited sequel, but besides these whispers, nothing official ever formed up.
Whether it was the failure of Smith and Burton's previous effort, Dark Shadows, or some other external factor, it's hard to tell why the project hasn't made its way into production by now. That said, it isn't hard to see why it shouldn't be happening, as the original Beetlejuice was a one in a million film, and you just can't capture improvised magic the same way twice. There's always going to be a part of us that wants to see Michael Keaton return to what could be argued is his most iconic role, but if the reason Beetlejuice 2 never happens is because it wasn't going to be good enough, then we can't fault anyone for claiming that was the reason.
Rest assured Michael Keaton fans, you'll be able to see the man himself quite a bit in the coming year or so, as he's involve with The Founder, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and American Assassin, all of which are either scheduled to open or start production throughout the next year.