Michael Keaton in First Look Beetlejuice 2 Images, Plus Why It Took Decades for a Sequel

John Nguyen

We’re finally getting the sequel to Beetlejuice since the original film was released 36 years ago. This week, Warner Bros. released the first-look images for Beetlejuice Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice 2) with new and returning actors in the franchise.

Tim Burton is back as the director for Beetlejuice Beetlejuice along with Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara reprising their roles as Delia and Lydia, respectively.

Last year, Michael Keaton returned as Batman in the 2023 Flash movie, which would be 31 years later since Batman Returns. This year, he’ll return as another fan-favorite character, the Ghost with the Most, aka Betelgeuse.

Catherine O’Hara as Delia, Jenna Ortega as Astrid, Winona Ryder as Lydia and Justin Theroux as Rory in Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Photo Credit Parisa Taghizadeh.

In the original film, Winona Ryder’s Lydia was an aspiring photographer who was able to see ghosts, and Catherine O’Hara’s Delia was Lydia’s stepmother. Their lives get turned upside down when Beetlejuice enters the picture, who wants to wreak havoc in the mortal world.

Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse in Beetlejuice 2. Photo Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh.

Betelgeuse was the main antagonist in the first film, but will he be the main antagonist in the sequel? What we do know is that the film takes place decades later with a death in the family. Tim Burton is keeping quiet with details, but judging from the images released, perhaps Lydia’s father, Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones), bites the dust.

“He just got back into it,” Burton tells EW about Keaton returning as Betelgeuse. “It was kind of scary for somebody who was maybe not that overly interested in doing it. It was such a beautiful thing for me to see all the cast, but he, sort of like demon possession, just went right back into it.”

The conditions had to be right for Burton and Keaton to reunite for a sequel, even if it was decades later.

“Unless it felt right, he had no burning desire to do it,” the filmmaker said. “I think we all felt the same way. It only made sense if it had an emotional hook.”

It was the three different generations of the Deetz women that sparked something in Burton.

“I so identified with the Lydia character, but then you get to all these years later, and you take your own journey, going from cool teenager to lame adult, back and forth again,” he revealed. “That made it emotional, gave it a foundation. So that was the thing that really truly got me into it.”

Beetlejuice mania continues this year with the North American Tour of Beetlejuice, which includes the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, CA.

About Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

The film is directed by Tim Burton (Wednesday) and written by Alfred Gough (Smallville, Wednesday) and Miles Millar (Smallville, Wednesday) from a story by Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter).

Joining Keaton, Ryder, Ortega, and O’Hara are Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci (The Matrix Reloaded), and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, Poor Things).

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice hits theaters on September 6, 2024.