There has been talk of a potential Beetlejuice sequel, really, since the inventive horror-comedy about a deceased couple trying to scare a snobbish family out of their house became a surprise hit in 1988. In more recent years, Michael Keaton has said he would play the maniacal bio-exorcist with director Tim Burton on board, Winona Ryder has also seemed open to returning, and rumors of Johnny Depp appearing in the Beetlejuice sequel have come out lately. Sounds like a fun idea, but, if you ask me, I think it would work best if all the original members of the Beetlejuice cast came back, which would take more than saying their names three times to achieve.
Nonetheless, whether Beetlejuice 2 is or is not dead or even if it were to suddenly pop up on our list of 2021 new movie releases, it would not do much to make my millennium, to be honest, since the original is good enough on its own, and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical adaptation has already filled that void for many. I do, however, still enjoy following the stars of the beloved cult classic and their careers to this day. So, that being said, let’s turn on the juice and she what’s shaking loose with the cast of one of the best Tim Burton movies ever, starting with the ghost of the most.
Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice)
Before landing the title role of Beetlejuice (whose name is actually spelled as the less marketable “Betelgeuse”), Michael Keaton (née Douglas) had already conquered the world of comedy with 1982’s Night Shift from director Ron Howard, followed by the leading Mr. Mom the next year. In 1989, he defied fan expectations by re-teaming with director Tim Burton to play Batman, whom he may be reprising alongside Ezra Miller’s The Flash in his upcoming solo movie.
After poking fun at his comic book movie stardom in 2014’s Birdman earned him an Oscar nomination, Michael Keaton became the MCU’s Spider-Man villain, Vulture, whom he also appears to be reprising in 2022’s Morbius, starring Jared Leto as the vampiric Marvel anti-hero. The Trial of the Chicago 7 star is also appearing in action thriller The Asset and is currently filming the Hulu original miniseries Dopesick.
Alec Baldwin (Adam Maitland)
It is funny to imagine that Alec Baldwin feared Beetlejuice may ruin his acting career, considering it is one of the last things anyone thought to mention at his Comedy Central Roast in 2019. On the other hand, his performance as the desperate, deceased Adam is not quite as memorable as his rousing speech in 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross, his Emmy-winning turn as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, or his more recent Emmy win as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live from 2016 to 2020.
The 63-year-old Oscar nominee and latest Match Game host is returning to the animated sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business in 2021, which will also see the premiere of Peacock’s Dr. Death miniseries. Alec Baldwin is also working on a TV comedy with Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer; is in pre-production for an action thriller called The Father, a western called Rust, and cop movie Blue Before Blood; and has been announced to play Enzo Ferrari in a Ferruccio Lamborghini biopic.
Geena Davis (Barbara Maitland)
In the same year that Beetlejuice won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, Geena Davis won for Best Supporting Actress - but for The Accidental Tourist and not as Alec Baldwin’s also deceased wife, Barbara. Nonetheless, outside of David Cronenberg’s The Fly, the light horror film is the actress’ best-known foray into the genre in a career defined by versatility, from sports biopics like A League of Their Own to a crime dramedy like Thelma & Louise, which earned her her second Oscar nod.
Recently, the 65-year-old’s best known acting work has been on television, including recurring stints on Grey’s Anatomy as a brain surgeon, on Netflix’s GLOW, and the animated fantasy series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, but she also starred opposite Jessica Chastain in the assassin drama Ava in 2020. Her next film, Cowgirl’s Last Ride is now pre-production, but the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media’s main focus continues to be her social activism.
Winona Ryder (Lydia Deetz)
Since her breakout role as the “strange and unusual” teen Lydia in Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder has become a bit of a Scream Queen. She was the killer female lead of 1989’s Heathers cast, was tempted by a fanged Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and would make a major career comeback after her part in the Stranger Things cast earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Winona Ryder will return to play Joyce Byers on Stranger Things Season 4, which may be the last go-round for the Netflix original ‘80s-style sci-fi hit. Speaking of nostalgia, the 49-year-old actress also reprised her other most famous Tim Burton movie role by starring opposite Timothée Chalamet as her scissor-handed son in an Edward Scissorhands inspired Super Bowl ad for Cadillac.
Catherine O’Hara (Delia Deetz)
Starring as Winona Ryder’s snobby artist stepmother in Beetlejuice is Catherine O’Hara as Delia, who might be a close second to Kate McAllister in Home Alone as her most iconic movie mom role. The Canadian comedian also enjoyed a major comeback on TV recently as Moira Rose in the Schitt’s Creek cast, for which she won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2021.
Catherine O’Hara has two animated movies coming out in 2021, including Extinct and The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You - an interactive special spun-off from the Netflix animated series she also lends her voice to. She and an all-star cast are currently lending their voices to the upcoming animated film Back Home Again, and her comedy film Fortune, which sounds like the opposite of the plot of Schitt’s Creek, is now in development.
Jeffrey Jones (Charles Deetz)
Former real estate yuppie Charles Deetz is probably the second or third most iconic ‘80s role of Jeffrey Jones, following Principal Edward Rooney in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and his Golden Globe-nominated role in Amadeus as Emperor Joseph II. The now 74-year-old actor would actually reunite with many of his Beetlejuice co-stars in subsequent films, such as The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin, 1996’s The Crucible with Winona Ryder, and Stuart Little with Geena Davis.
Other than rejoining the Deadwood cast for HBO’s follow-up movie in 2019, Jeffrey Jones does not have much going on in Hollywood anymore. His career slowed down significantly after he was placed on the sex offender registry in 2003 after hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for suggestive photographs the previous year.
Annie McEnroe (Jane Butterfield)
While no longer busy in Hollywood, Annie McEnroe played Jane Butterfield - the nosy real estate who always hounded the Maitlands about selling their house before their deaths - in Beetlejuice. The actress (actually best known for having small roles in otherwise iconic films such as Wall Street or Born on the Fourth of July) has not appeared in anything since Oliver Stone’s sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010. She did, however, appear with her producer husband Edward R. Pressman in a featurette for the 2021 Blu-ray release of The Hand - a 1981 horror film (also directed by Stone) that she starred in with Michael Caine.
Dick Cavett (Bernard)
Aside from a few instances, when legendary, Emmy-winning talk show host Dick Cavett shows up in a movie, he is usually starring as himself - most notably in 1977’s Annie Hall or in Forrest Gump from 1994. However, in Beetlejuice, he plays Bernard: Delia’s disgruntled, discouraging agent and one of the dinner guests possessed into singing Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” by the Maitlands. The 84-year-old’s most recent gig was lending his voice to the Facebook Watch animated series Liverspots and Astronots, but he will appear in two upcoming documentaries that are both in post-production: one about surrealist writer and illustrator Edward Gorey and another about Chicago nightclub Mister Kelly’s, where he, among many others, got his start as a performer.
Glenn Shadix (Otho)
You may recall that another guest to “suffer” the “Day-O” possession was the Deetzes’ friend and interior decorator Otho, played by Glenn Shadix, landing his second movie role ever with Beetlejuice. The theater-trained actor would go on to reunite with Winona Ryder in Heathers, with Tim Burton to voice The Mayor in The Nightmare Before Christmas, appear alongside Michael Keaton in Multiplicity, and also earn a relatively major role in the cult action comedy Demolition Man in 1993. Shadix’s final performance was a voice role in an animated adaptation of The Little Engine That Could before passing away in 2010 due to a traumatic head injury at the age of 58.
Patrice Martinez (Miss Argentina)
Beetlejuice was actually one of the last major movie appearance of Patrice Martinez, whose character was an Argentinian beauty pageant contestant before becoming a receptionist for the afterlife following her “little accident.” The first big film role of the American-born actress of Mexican descent was as Carmen in Three Amigos! before landing a recurring spot on the original Magnum P.I. with Tom Selleck and playing the love interest of the titular hero of Zorro from 1990-1993 on Freeform when it was still called The Family Channel. Martinez would retire from acting in 1999 and, in 2018, died unexpectedly after a long illness at only 55.
You know, for my first Halloween with my fiancée in 2019, I dressed up as Beetlejuice and she dressed as Miss Argentina. Needless to say, the movie is very important to us and it was upsetting to learn that the actress behind the character my fiancée dressed as had passed away only a year earlier. Of course, in certain ways, Beetlejuice serves as a celebration of the afterlife at its core, and Patrice Martinez, Glenn Shadix, and late members of the cast and crew remain a shining remnant of the film’s undying legacy.