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Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Release Date, Plot, Cast, Trailer And More Details

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Coming off the delightfully bizarre "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure," Tim Burton side-stepped the dreaded sophomore slump with "Beetlejuice," a 1988 black comedy that became the 10th highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office. Absolutely loaded with Burton's trademark quirks — from the nightmarish set design and gothic costumes to Danny Elfman's quirky score — the film tells the story of Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), a lovable couple who die in a terrible car wreck and come back as ghosts.

Even worse, a bunch of obnoxious yuppies have moved into their dream home and plan on turning it into an gauche '80s hellscape. With brooding teenager/fashion icon Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) watching on, the Maitlands do their best to scare off her clueless parents. When that fails, they foolishly turn to the sleazy, fast-talking bio-exorcist Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) — but his services come at quite the hefty price. The result is an eclectic, creepy, and delightful comedy that's stood the test of time, and diehard fans have been begging for a sequel ever since.

And now, after decades and decades of waiting, it's looking like Tim Burton fans are about to get their wish: "Beetlejuice 2" will indeed haunt a theater near you. But who's returning for the long-anticipated film? Which new stars will be dancing to the tunes of Harry Belafonte? Is Burton himself coming back? Well, put down your "Handbook for the Recently Deceased," and get ready to learn everything you need to know about the sequel titled "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice."

When will Beetlejuice Beetlejuice be released?

Currently, "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" is slated to land in theaters on September 6, 2024. Originally, the spooky sequel shared that 9/6 release date with the MCU's "Blade." While it would've been interesting to see two horror-ish titles fight it out for box office supremacy, this battle wasn't to be. Due to production delays and the Writers Guild of America strike, "Blade" was kicked back to 2025.

Will "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" hit that September date? For a while, things looked dicey. Shooting was put on hold due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, and rumor had it that Warner Bros. was going to shuffle a number of release dates in response. With the strike concluded, however, this danger has passed. How did the project avoid further delays? As Tim Burton told The Independent, there wasn't much left to film. "Literally, it was a day and a half," he said when discussing how much more they had to shoot before production shut down. "We know what we have to do. It is 99% done." 

This turned out to be true: About a week after the SAG-AFTRA strike ended, filming resumed in Melrose, MA. According to a number of reports, it wrapped up within a couple of days. Good thing, too — in a recent Fandango poll, cinephiles named "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" as one of their most anticipated 2024 movies. 

What is the plot of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

So what silly, spooky story does "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" have in store? According to the official plot synopsis, "After an unexpected family tragedy, three generations of the Deetz family return home to Winter River. Still haunted by Beetlejuice, Lydia's life is turned upside down when her rebellious teenage daughter, Astrid, discovers the mysterious model of the town in the attic and the portal to the afterlife is accidentally opened. With trouble brewing in both realms, it's only a matter of time until someone says Beetlejuice's name three times and the mischievous demon returns to unleash his very own brand of mayhem."

As for other details we've picked up here and there, People released an exclusive photo of star Jenna Ortega in costume back in 2023. Ortega wears a white wedding dress with intriguing accents of pinkish-red tulle, recalling Lydia's iconic red dress from the first film. Will some sort of wedding figure into the plot?

We also know that "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" will share the first movie's bizarre, irreverent, and hilarious spirit. During an event hosted by Empire, Michael Keaton said, "We're doing it exactly like we did the first movie. There's a woman in the great waiting room for the afterlife literally with a fishing line — I want people to know this because I love it — tugging on the tail of a cat to make it move." In September 2023, the film's director of photography, Haris Zambarloukos, told The Direct the film will balance supernatural mayhem and a warm heart. "So although it's a fantastical story, it, again, at the heart of it [is] a brilliant, warm family story," he remarked. This harmonizes with rumors that "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" will focus more on the living characters than the dead ones.

Who is starring in Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

Michael Keaton is back as undead antagonist Beetlejuice in "Beetlejuice 2," and he couldn't be more excited, telling Empire, "Beetlejuice is the most f***in' fun you can have working. It's so fun, it's so great." Of course, he won't be the only OG from the '88 comedy to make their grand return. We can also expect to see Winona Ryder back as Lydia Deetz — and this time, she's a mom. Jenna Ortega will play her daughter, Astrid, and is sure to trade barbs with Keaton's irrepressible ghost. Moreover, Catherine O'Hara is returning as Delia Deetz, Lydia's mom.

Also joining the cast are Monica Bellucci as Beetlejuice's currently unnamed wife and Justin Theroux in an undisclosed role. We do, however, know who Willem Dafoe will be playing. The star of projects like "Spider-Man: No Way Home," "The Lighthouse," and "Inside," Dafoe will appear as an afterlife detective who worked as a B-movie action star when he was on the other side of the grave. The film's official trailer also gave us a glimpse of a Danny DeVito cameo, which makes sense as the actor has appeared in many Tim Burton projects, such as "Batman Returns," "Big Fish," and "Mars Attacks!"

Who is directing Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

Perhaps the most recognizable auteur to ever sit behind a camera, Tim Burton has directed some all-time classics. With his love for 1950s pop culture, gothic horror, and goofy comedy, Burton has delivered beloved titles like "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," and — of course — "Beetlejuice." And while some of his more recent cinematic offerings aren't exactly critical darlings, pretty much everyone on planet Earth loves his directing and producing work on the "Addams Family" Netflix series, "Wednesday."

With Burton riding a wave of popularity that he hasn't had in the last few years — combined with the recent wave of legacy sequels like "Top Gun: Maverick" and "The Matrix Resurrections" — it makes sense that he's coming back to helm "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice." Yep, according to Deadline, the master of all things kitschy and macabre is indeed directing the "Beetlejuice" sequel, and we're hoping it will be a return to feature-length form after disappointing titles like "Dumbo" and "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." We're also psyched to see him working with three of his most popular collaborators — Jenna Ortega, Michael Keaton, and Winona Ryder.

We're also excited to hear that Burton seems to be genuinely enjoying the filmmaking process. Speaking to The Independent, the director explained, "On this last one, 'Beetlejuice 2,' I really enjoyed it. I tried to strip everything and go back to the basics of working with good people and actors and puppets. It was kind of like going back to why I liked making movies. ... It's the most fun I've had working on a movie in I can't tell you how long."

Who is writing Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

While we're not exactly sure what "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" is going to be about, we do know that quite a few screenwriters have taken a stab at getting the script just right. At various points, David Katzenberg (producer on "It Chapter Two"), Mike Vukadinovich ("Runaways"), and Seth Grahame-Smith ("The Lego Batman Movie") have all taken a pass at the story. (Grahame-Smith still retains a story credit.)

Now, the most recent iteration of the "Beetlejuice" sequel has been crafted by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Previously, these two developed The CW's Superman series "Smallville," AMC's "Into the Badlands," and the fantasy series "The Shannara Chronicles." But most importantly for Burton fans, these two are the ones who created "Wednesday," the show that put the spotlight on Jenna Ortega. If they can make Wednesday Addams popular again, we can't wait to see what they can do for Beetlejuice.

Who else is working on Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

Making a movie requires a whole lot of work from a whole lot of people. Directors, actors, and screenwriters tend to receive the most credit for a job well done, but they're really just the tip of the movie-making iceberg. Luckily, "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" boasts major names in every possible role — especially when it comes to costume design and music.

Oscar-winning designer Colleen Atwood will be crafting costumes for "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice." Her body of work is staggeringly vast and varied: She's responsible for the sartorial brilliance of "Chicago," "Alice in Wonderland," "Gattaca," "Into the Woods," and "Top Gun: Maverick," among other flicks. She also has a long history working with Tim Burton, having collaborated with the auteur on everything from "Edward Scissorhands" to "Ed Wood." The creepily elegant aesthetic she's always brought to Burton's movies is sure to shine brightly in the second "Beetlejuice." And don't worry — she's made sure his most iconic look will return. "Beetlejuice has to have a striped suit," Atwood told ComicBook.com. "It's like doing 'Alice in Wonderland' needs a blue dress. How long they wear it is another thing. But Beetlejuice, that is the quintessential Beetlejuice."

Atwood isn't the only longtime Burton collaborator hard at work on "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" — legendary composer Danny Elfman will be lending his macabre melodies to the film. The ever-busy artist has worked on a dizzying array of movies, including the first "Beetlejuice" flick.

Is there a trailer for Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?

Released in March 2024, the teaser trailer for "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" is set to a mournful version of "The Banana Boat" song and takes us back to the old Deetz house. It's here we get a glimpse of the miniature town model where so much weird stuff happened in the first film. As the teaser progresses, the model cracks in two and unleashes an especially ghoulish-looking Beetlejuice, much to Lydia Deetz's horror. "The juice is loose," the bio-exorcist jokes, and we're so happy to have him back.

In the official trailer — released in May 2024 — we see that Beetlejuice is some sort of afterlife manager, complete with a "world's best boss" mug. But despite his rise through the corporate ranks, the ghoul is still obsessed with Lydia. Unfortunately, her rebellious daughter summons the demon to the Deetz house, unleashing all sorts of hilarious hell. Along the way, we see a bunch of shrunken head office drones, a ghoulish Santa, and a zombified Danny DeVito. We watch as Lydia and her daughter flee from massive sandworms, and we get our first look at the afterlife versions of Monica Bellucci and Willem Dafoe. Loaded with practical effects, the trailer for "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" promises a rollicking good time.

Who's stealing props from the Beetlejuice Beetlejuice set?

Beetlejuice is known as a troublemaker, but he may have met his match in some real-world thieves. The "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" set in East Corinth, Vermont suffered not one, not two, but three thefts. The first theft is especially notable, as the perpetrator was seen in the act of stealing. On July 14, 2023, Vermont police were told that a mysterious person driving a pickup truck had been seen loading a pilfered pumpkin-topped lamppost into their vehicle's bed. Three days later, the ante got upped: A 150-pound sculpture disappeared. Remember Delia's goofy-looking creations from the first movie? The stolen piece looks a lot like the one that accidentally smashes a hole in the house.

News of the third theft broke on July 27. This time, someone made off with six windows. These windows weren't stolen from the set, however; they'd already served their purpose and been donated to ski tow Northeast Slopes. As no one's been caught and the items haven't been returned, the people of East Corinth would do well to keep their eyes peeled. 

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is all about practical effects

"Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" will hearken back to the original movie in many ways. One of the most exciting is its reliance on practical effects. In conversation with Entertainment Tonight, Jenna Ortega enthused, "All I can say is it's probably some of the most fun I've ever had on a set. Visually, so exciting. Everything was practical, I think we're not using very much CGI or anything like that at all. It was very satisfying shooting on set because you got instant [satisfaction]. It looks cool, everyone did an incredible job, I felt so lucky to be there. It was insane. I can't wait for people to see that movie."

While razzle-dazzle VFX has its charms, there truly is something special about old-fashioned practical effects. They have a look all their own, and, as Ortega notes, they're a heck of a lot of fun for actors to interact with. Michael Keaton is also jazzed about working with real-deal props and puppets. "Making stuff up, making stuff happen, improvising and riffing, but literally handmade stuff like people creating things with their hands and building something ... It's the most fun I've had working on a movie in I can't tell you how long," the actor told Empire.

Where to watch the original Beetlejuice

Maybe you're in the mood to watch Catherine O'Hara dance to "The Banana Boat Song." Maybe you just adore Michael Keaton's little monologue about his love for "The Exorcist." Perhaps you just want to sit there and stare at the wonderfully over-the-top sets by Bo Welch or the incredible costumes from Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Or maybe you've never seen "Beetlejuice," and you've decided it's time to check out this classic '80s comedy. Well, if you're looking for the film, we've got you covered. You can rent "Beetlejuice" on sites like Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube.