With Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter finished and floundering at the box office (reviewed here), writer/creator Seth Grahame-Smith is off to his next project, the much rumored and still up in the air sequel to 1988’s Beetlejuice. Bleeding Cool had a chance to needle the writer for some details, and he delivered. While it is in development right now, Grahame-Smith stressed that the movie is ‘just theoretical right now,’ so here’s whats happening, theoretically.
If we come up with nothing but shit then we’re not going to do it. Beetlejuice, I think, is too important to too many people, myself included, and Tim (Burton), and Michael Keaton, to do a sequel just for the sake of it, because we’d think it would be commercial. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time. I still have the original 1988 poster in my office, framed, above my desk. It was an important and seminal movie for me. I want to find a way, so badly, to get it right, but I am so absolutely horrified at the thought of getting it wrong that we’re taking our time and being really careful about it. Though I have talked to Tim quite a bit about it, and I have talked to Michael quite a bit.
I’m liking where this is going already, he sounds like he loves the property and will treat it right. A needles sequel for nostalgia will do no one any good.
More revealing details after the jump.
But here’s the problem. Beetlejuice was a wonderful accident. It has, of course, irreverence, visual inventiveness and daring, and it has subversive humour in it. Endless inventiveness. But, really, when they put it together, and Tim will tell you this, David Geffen will tell you this, and Michael Keaton will tell you this, that when they first put it together it just didn’t work. That was a movie that miraculously and strangely came together in editing. They found this wonderful, strange, irreverent movie in there.
That’s the scariest part for me – essentially I’m trying to catch lightning in a bottle. The chance of creating something transcendent twice is very slim.
But I think the magic ingredient is trying not to over do it. Not to make it some crazy, overblown big Beetlejuice Saves the World type of story. Frankly, Beetlejuice himself is only in the original movie for about a half hour. I think using him sparingly is key. And not trying to make it so modern, family friendly and broad but to cling to the things that made it a little dangerous.
And obviously we’re not remaking the movie or rebooting it. It would be a sequel, and however much time has passed between the two movies, that’s the amount of time that will have passed in the story.
It’s also nice to see that Grahame-Smith understands that he has his work cut out for him in terms of a second go around with Beetlejuice. There is a fan base that will scrutinize his every move. Even saying that the film would be light on the main character, regardless of how it was done in the first one, may come of as blasphemous in some circles.
Gotta say though, it sounds like the flick is in good hands.
Source: Bleeding Cool