Tim Burton Explains How Beetlejuice Sequel Helped Him Regain His Lost Love of the Movie Industry

June 2, 2024 - Movies


  • Tim Burton’s personal connection to Lydia Deetz in the
    franchise brought him back to filmmaking after losing interest.
  • Michael Keaton’s return as Beetlejuice after 35 years impressed co-stars, with Jenna Ortega describing his transformation as mind-blowing.
  • Initial reactions to the
    Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
    trailer show promise for the film’s legacy, set to hit theaters on September 6th.

Tim Burton has directed some of the most visually distinctive movies in cinema history. However, recent years have seen the director becoming disillusioned with the industry, and it took a surprise return to the Beetlejuice franchise, along his personal connection with the character of Lydia Deetz, that helped bring him back to the fold.

Speaking in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, Burton explained his feelings behind returning to the world of his 1988 bio-exorcist. He said:

“I actually had sort of lost interest in the movie industry. I felt like I’d had enough with studios. I’d had enough of all this kind of stuff.”

“From the first [film], I really identified with Lydia. It was a character that I understood, that I felt very strongly about. The new film became very personal to me, through the Lydia character. What happened to Lydia? You know, what happens to people? What happens to all of us? What’s your journey from a gothic kind of weird teenager to what happens to you 35 years later?”

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Release Date
September 6, 2024

Tim Burton

KatzSmith Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Tim Burton Productions

Sometimes, as you get older, you lose yourself a little bit. That’s very much how I feel, and felt. You go down a path – for me, I started making movies, I make some good ones, I make some bad, you take a journey.

“So that’s what made this more of an important and personal thing for me, all those feelings. You have relationships that change you, you have kids that change you. After all these years, that became the reason to make it. I identified with Lydia back then, and I identify with her now.”

Michael Keaton’s Co-Stars Praised His ‘Insane’ Beetlejuice Return

While it has been 35 years since Michael Keaton last donned the guise of Beetlejuice, it seems that his ability to recapture the character came so naturally that his co-stars were in awe of his transformation. Franchise newcomer Jenna Ortega shared her thoughts with the publication, saying:

“It was like an animal with a gun had just walked into the room. To watch him physically change and appear and Michael Keaton to be gone, and for me to be dealing with this Betelgeuse guy… it blew my mind .”

The praise didn’t stop there, as returning star Catherine O’Hara declared Keaton’s reprisal of his role as “insane,” while director Burton added, “It was like he was possessed by a demon because he just went right back into it.”


How Beetlejuice Became an Iconic Character Despite Only 17 Minutes of Screen Time

One of the most important performances in horror comedy history was only accomplished with 17 minutes of screen time. How did Michael Keaton do it?

This is a long way from Keaton’s initial trepidation about returning to the franchise, and more precisely, being aware that they could end up tarnishing the reputation of the original movie. The initial reactions to the first full trailer, as well as the enthusiasm seen from the entire ensemble, is certainly a strong sign that the film is not in any danger of undoing Beetlejuice’s legacy. Whether it can do enough to enhance it is another matter, and one that audiences will need to wait a few more months to find out.

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